WI Senate to vote on chief justice amendment - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: WI Senate passes chief justice amendment

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MADISON (AP) -- The chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court would no longer automatically be the justice with the most seniority under a measure passed by the state Senate.

The proposed constitutional amendment approved on an 18-15 vote Tuesday would instead require that the chief justice be selected by a majority of the seven justices serving on the court every two years.

All Democrats voted against it with all Republicans in support.

Democratic opponents say the measure was targeted at removing current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, a liberal who has led the court for the past 17 years. Republican backers say it makes more sense to have court members select their leader.

The amendment must pass the Legislature twice and be approved in a statewide vote before it takes effect.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court would no longer automatically be the justice with the most seniority under a measure scheduled for a vote in the state Senate.

The proposed constitutional amendment up for a vote Tuesday would instead require that the chief justice be selected by a majority of the seven justices serving on the court.

The amendment would change the 124-year-old practice in the Supreme Court. It's a move that critics say is targeting current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who has led the court for 17 years.

Even if the measure passes the Senate and Assembly this year, it must also pass the Legislature again next session and be approved by voters before it would be added to the constitution.

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