Business Group Hails Wisconsin’s Conservative Justices

September 24, 2018

Three conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who scored well in a recent report by a coalition of powerful business interests received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from those trades.

The report issued last week by the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council reviewed how the seven-member Supreme Court voted on cases between 2012 and 2018 that affected the business community.

The court’s conservative majority received the highest scores. Justices Annette Ziegler and Rebecca Bradley each scored 81 percent, followed by Chief Justice Pat Roggensack at 79 percent and Justice Dan Kelly at 77 percent.

Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley, who are often tagged as the court’s liberal members, each scored 23 percent. Justice Rebecca Dallet, who was elected and sworn in earlier this year, was not included in the report because she has not issued any decisions.

Here’s how much each justice who decided cases cited in the report received from the special interests represented by the coalition’s trade groups during their most recent court campaigns:

Rebecca Bradley, who was first elected in 2016, about $405,900;

Ziegler, who was elected in 2007 and reelected in 2017, about $334,400;

Roggensack, who was elected in 2003 and reelected in 2013, about $307,100;

Abrahamson, who was reelected in 1999 and 2009, about $276,700;

Ann Walsh Bradley, who was elected in 2005 and reelected in 2015, about $119,000.

Kelly, $0. Kelly has not raised campaign funds because he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the high court in 2016 by GOP Gov. Scott Walker and will not to run for election until 2020.

The Civil Justice Council is made up of 15 trade organizations representing business, insurance, construction, agricultural, transportation, energy, health care, and tourism interests that support policies to make it more difficult to sue businesses.