MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The conservative chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court accused her liberal colleagues of a “raw exercise of overreaching power” after they flexed their new majority Wednesday and fired the director of the state’s court system.
The four liberal justices, on just their second day as a majority on the court after 15 years under conservative control, voted to fire Randy Koschnick. Koschnick held the job for six years after serving for 18 years as a judge and running unsuccessfully as a conservative in 2009 against then-Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, a liberal.
“To say that I am disappointed in my colleagues is an understatement,” Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, now a member of the three-justice conservative minority, said in a lengthy statement after Koschnick was fired.
Ziegler said the move undermined her authority as chief justice. She called it unauthorized, procedurally and legally flawed, and reckless. But she said she would not attempt to stop it out of fear that other court employees could be similarly fired.
“My colleagues’ unprecedented dangerous conduct is the raw exercise of overreaching power,” she said. “It is shameful. I fear this is only the beginning.”
Fellow conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley blasted the move in a social media post, saying, “Political purges of court employees are beyond the pale.”
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