NEW INFORMATION: Change to Wis. chief justice selection up for vote

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The speaker of the state Assembly says a constitutional amendment that would likely remove Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson from her post is not targeting her.

The Assembly was scheduled to vote Thursday on changing the 124-year practice of having the Supreme Court justice with the most seniority serve as chief justice. Instead, the chief would be selected by a vote of the seven justices.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the amendment isn't about Abrahamson, and she may not even be on the court by the time it takes effect.

The proposal would have to pass the Legislature again next session and be approved in a statewide vote. The soonest that could happen is 2015.

Abrahamson has been chief justice for 17 years.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly is poised to approve a constitutional amendment that would bring Wisconsin in line with how most states select the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

For 124 years in Wisconsin, the chief justice has automatically been the justice with the most seniority on the high court.

But the Republican-backed constitutional amendment would instead have the chief justice be selected every two years based on a vote by the seven-member court.

Twenty-two states currently use the peer selection method to select the chief justice. Wisconsin is one of only seven states where seniority determines who is chief justice.

The proposal must pass the Legislature again next session, and be approved in a statewide vote, before the change would take effect.

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