Paul Adair is a 21-year Germantown resident, retired scientist, writer, and lecturer.
We have a very important election on April 5th. In addition to holding a Presidential primary, we will elect a new state Supreme Court justice for a ten-year term. Emerging from the three-candidate field in last month's primary were JoAnne Kloppenburg and Rebecca Bradley.
After much thoughtful consideration, the staff at Just Sayin' has decided to endorse Judge Kloppenburg in this race. She embodies the experience, temperament, and non-partisan judicial approach that our state's highest court deserves. There is really no comparison.
We already have discussed Kloppenburg's opponent in two blogs, "Rebecca Bradley-Too Partisan for the State Supreme Court", and "Dark Money Groups Try to Buy Supreme Court Election". We won't further discuss Bradley, her extreme ideology, or her heavily partisan approach to jurisprudence here.
Of the two April candidates, Judge Kloppenburg has by far the deepest and widest legal experience. According to the biography on her campaign website, she graduated from UW Law School in 1988. After clerking for a year in Federal District Court, she became an Assistant Attorney General in the Wisconsin Department of Justice. During her 23 years in that role, she "handled cases in many areas of the law including constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and all aspects of civil litigation in circuit courts around the State and in federal court."
In 2012, Kloppenburg was elected to Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals, District 4. This Court is directly below the State Supreme Court. During her three and a half years on the bench, she has issued hundreds of legal decisions, each one written in a clear, thoughtful, and fair manner.
Kloppenburg has shown the ability to work well with others-a critical skill if we are to repair the disfunctional rancor of the current Wisconsin Supreme Court. Her peers on the Court of Appeals elected her to be Presiding Judge. Her even-keeled temperament shows through during the many interviews she has given on radio and television stations around the state.
Kloppenburg is not aligned with any partisan political group. She feels that we must return to an independent Supreme Court. She believes that we must leave partisan politics out of court decisions. She says that the Court must be maintained as an impartial check and balance of the other two branches of state government.
You might remember Kloppenburg's name from the 2011 Supreme Court election. She defeated incumbent David Prosser on election night by 204 votes. However, by an incredible miracle, thousands of extra votes were found in Waukesha County two days after the election, handing the victory to Prosser.
This year's election will no doubt be just as close. A recent Marquette poll gave each candidate 30% of the vote, with 31% still undecided. Over the last six Wisconsin Supreme Court elections, statewide turn-out has averaged a pitiful 21.7 %. With such a low turn-out, your vote counts a great deal. This is an election in which every vote is truly important. We encourage you to join us on April 5 in supporting JoAnne Kloppenburg.