Supreme Court Chief Shirley Abrahamson today filed a federal lawsuit seeking to prevent the constitutional amendment passed yesterday from taking effect until after her current term ends in 2019.
The amendment would allow members of the court to pick a chief justice every two years rather than assigning the position to the most tenured jurist. Abrahamson, who has held the post since 1996, argued that her 2009 re-election campaign focused heavily on her position and voters expected re-electing her would keep her in her post. Turning her out now, she argued, would dilute the votes that were cast for her in 2009 and change the results of that election.
She also argued there is no language in the amendment that makes clear it should be implemented retroactively. Abrahamson also filed for a temporary restraining order to stop enforcement of the amendment until July 1, 2019, when her term ends.
Talk about “bitter clinger.” I have a hard time seeing where she has a case here. This is about a amendment, approved by the voters, to their state constitutional. There isn’t a federal issue here.
Even her claim that the voters, when they elected her, we voting for her as chief justice is wrong. The ballot doesn’t even mention “chief” justice. Not to mention the fact that then she would have to argue that the voters who elected her to be a justice in 1989 were also electing her to be the chief justice in 1996 – 7 years after the election. No, we elect justices – not a chief justice.
Nothing to see here… just a lefty judge who knows that her peers wouldn’t elect her to lead them.