Primary Preview: 3 Vying for Wisconsin Supreme Court Seat

Voters will choose between a lemon law attorney, a Marquette University law professor and an incumbent in the Feb. 19 primary election.

Three candidates — Ed Fallone, Vince Megna and incumbent Pat Roggensack — are vying for a 10-year seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice in the Feb. 19 primary election.

The job is non-partisan, but there's a stark contrast between these candidates. The top two vote-getters will square off in the April 2 general election.

Ed Fallone, 48, of Whitefish Bay, is a Marquette University Law professor who teaches constitutional, corporate and criminal law. He has never been a judge before.

Still, Fallone has called out the Supreme Court justices for playing politics and becoming dysfunctional. A number of liberal and progressive groups have endorsed Fallone, including the AFL-CIO. Fallone also founded Centro Legal, a firm that helps needy families get legal representation, and he signed the petition to start a recall against Gov. Scott Walker.

Vince Megna, 68, of Menomonee Falls, is a lemon law lawyer who works for Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., Milwaukee. Megna says he's a liberal Democract. Megna has also never been a judge before.

He is running for State Supreme Court because he believes it has been “bought and paid for by outside influences,” including the Americans for Prosperity and the Koch Brothers. Megna didn’t plan on raising any money until after the primaries and said he hates asking people for money. He doesn’t believe out of state campaign money should be accepted by candidates, believes in stronger consumer protection laws, is against voter suppression laws and for equal pay for women.

Pat Roggensack of Madison has served on the State Supreme Court since 2003.

While the polls show Roggensack is leading the race, she has been criticized for taking campaign contributions from out-of-state donors, including the Walton family, which owns Walmart, and millionaires Betsy and Dick DeVos.

Roggensack, who has been described as a conservative, said she focused on how the court could serve the public, more specifically on how quickly decisions get handed down and set up the first Supreme Court Finance Committee.

Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 04:51 PM
@Bob McBride....Since we aren't going to get an unbiased court, then it is time to elect a liberal slanted justice to return balance to our government.
Lee February 13, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Greg. Your reply to me mystifies.
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 04:55 PM
@GearHead....I want to sweep out the whole bunch. As each comes up for reelection we need to replace them. As far as I'm concerned none of them belong on the High Court. Bringing up Obama is strictly a red herring and has nothing to do with this Supreme Court race.
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 04:57 PM
@Brian Dey....I don't know what you call bi-partisan support. Follow the money.
Bob McBride February 13, 2013 at 05:00 PM
@Bob McBride....Since we aren't going to get an unbiased court, then it is time to elect a liberal slanted justice to return balance to our government. ******************** I'm going to have to ask again, Lyle. When we had a state government controlled by Democrats, did you vote for a conservative slanted justice for the Supreme Court in order to return balance to the same?
Brian Dey February 13, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Lyle- The Milwaukee Firefighter's Union endorsed Roggensack, and they are usually Democrat leaning.
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 05:03 PM
@The Anti-Alinsky....Act 10 is not the issue. As far as I am concerned the union issue was a no brainer, it was statutory and as such could be changed at any time. If the unions want to reinstate the public employees' bargaining rights, they will have to do it legislatively. The voter ID law will probably come up before the High Court and possibly even the US Supreme Court.
GearHead February 13, 2013 at 07:25 PM
@Lyle: So you have learned nothing in the last few years, have you? Are you saying tossing Prosser, and replacing with Klopp would have somehow improved the court? Beyond her unqualification, she went on record over how she would overturn Act 10. Naturally the unions supported her. Doesn't that smack of the bias you abhor?
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 07:58 PM
@GearHead....What I have learned is that after Justice Prosser was reelected, he gave graphic evidence of his unsuitability. It is clear that he has problems with anger management and impulse control. This was hinted at prior to the election, but I brushed it off as political propaganda. If Prosser was an honorable man, he would have resigned or resign even now and give Governor Walker an opportunity to appoint his replacement to serve out the rest of his term. This doesn't have anything to do with Kloppenburg.
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Lyle: What exactly is the 'graphic evidence' that you speak of? Why isn't Bradley the one that is accused of having anger issues? It's pretty clear that she was the aggressor in the incident. Prosser did not move toward her--she moved toward him.
robert heule February 13, 2013 at 08:51 PM
The current right wing majority on the Court thinks it is the third house of the Legislature. The Wisconsin Manufacturer's & Commerce bought the last three Supreme Court elections (Zeigler '07, Gabelman "08 and Prosser "11) Zeigler as a Washington Co. Judge ruled in favor of a bank where her husband is on the Board of Directors; Gabelman violated judicial ethics in his racist campaign against The first African-American Justice and Prosser, as everyone knows is Wisconsin' Choking Hazard.
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 09:20 PM
@CowDung....The minute he put his hands on her, he stepped across the line.
Brian Dey February 13, 2013 at 09:22 PM
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Defending oneself is 'crossing the line'? Bradley was charging toward him--what was he supposed to do, just stand there an let her hit him?
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 10:14 PM
@CowDung...There is no evidence that see was going to hit him. She did get in his face. As far as I am concerned, a man never puts his hands on a woman unless it is to defend his life or avoid significant battery and then only defensively. CowDung, is this a double standard? It's OK to throttle a woman who gets in your face?
Lyle Ruble February 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM
@Brian Dey....What are you clueless about? The facts that show the court is dysfunctional?
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM
She had her hand raised and was moving quickly toward him. He wasn't moving toward her at all. Witness statements indicated that they thought Bradley was going to hit him in the face... If Prosser was indeed acting out of anger or aggression, wouldn't he have made a move toward Bradley?
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 10:22 PM
...and Bradley admitted that Prosser didn't 'throttle' her.
Bob McBride February 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM
From what I understand there were at least a couple of versions of what occurred. Without the benefit of actually being there, I'm not sure how one can say much more than that there was a confrontation between the two that involved some physical contact.
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 10:28 PM
There is consensus that it was Bradley that moved toward Prosser. Prosser did not advance toward Bradley. He was clearly on the defensive.
Celeste Koeberl February 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Interesting overview of how the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices have been behaving in "Bradley received more security before Prosser incident, safety concerns remain", 2/13/2013, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, at http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/justice-bradley-sought-more-security-long-before-incident-with-justice-prosser-7o8p2n5-191072701.html
robert heule February 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Sparky, (excuse for using my late dog's name) Is ruling on the law and facts evil?
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 10:45 PM
I don't believe that Fallone has ever had the opportunity to rule on the law...
Greg February 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Go figure.
Celeste Koeberl February 13, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Here is a link to Justice Bradley's memorandum, which describes incidents of workplace violence at the Wisconsin Supreme Court: http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0213judicialcommvprosser.pdf
CowDung February 13, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Funny how she didn't mention how she was the one that moved toward Prosser. If the guy really intended to attack and cause her harm/strangle her, he would have made a move toward her.
The Anti-Alinsky February 13, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Lyle, robert just spewed out the standard Wisconsin Left talking point they have done every Supreme Court election for the past several years. That is what is clueless. When Annette Ziegler beat Linda Clifford in 2007, the Left just went on a rampage. It didn't matter to them that Clifford had no judicial experience, nor any of the non-incumbent candidates since. Their activist candidates lost and they can't seem to let it go (as evidenced by robert's rant). Now they are attempting to manufacture a crisis to give Pat Roggensack a black eye ( http://muskego.patch.com/blog_posts/united-wisconsin-calls-on-supreme-court-justice-roggensack-to-denounce-inflammatory-remarks-made-by-senator-ron-johnson ). As for the court being dysfunctional, much of that seems to come down on Shirley Abrahamson. She is a intelligent, hard working justice that apparently has trouble with people disagreeing with her. Her role as the Chief Justice, as well as being the most tenured, puts her in a position that should be bring the dysfunctionality under control. Instead she seems to feed it using Ann Walsh Bradley. Regardless, Roggensack is one of the more stable elements of the court, is impartial and I have already voted for her!
robert heule February 14, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Cow, But he's an experienced law professor who has taught all aspects of law. One doesn't need trial experience to be qualified to rule on the law.
GearHead February 14, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Choking hazard? Really Bob? Prosser looks like he weighs about 98 lbs dripping wet. Bradley probably outweighs him. Abrahamson certainly does.
GearHead February 14, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Bob, Obama was supposedly an experianced law professor, except nobody has ever seen any of his scholarly work (excepting his 2 debunked autobiographies). Isn't his dismal record proof enough law professors are a liability?


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