Today, United Wisconsin calls on Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack to denounce inflammatory remarks made by Senator Ron Johnson at a Jefferson County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner, where the two were both among the featured speakers.
Johnson’s speech, riddled with extreme partisan rhetoric, went as far as calling political opponents “Marxists” and referring to their positions as a “cavity [that] is turning into an abscess that’s now infecting the body.” Johnson told his audience, “We are up against a strategy that is taking place by liberals, progressives, Democrats, whatever they call themselves nowadays, Socialists, Marxists.”
Sharing the stage with Johnson was incumbent Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack, who is currently seeking another ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
“We expect to hear such ridiculous partisan rhetoric from a Senator like Ron Johnson, whose party’s out-of-touch agenda has led to significant electoral defeats nationwide,” said United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck. “But if Roggensack expects voters to trust her to continue serving in the non-partisan position of Supreme Court Justice, she must immediately come clean with the people of Wisconsin and answer whether or not she shares Johnson’s extreme political views.”
Concerns about Justice Roggensack’s partisanship have been heightened in recent weeks, as special interests groups have taken to the airwaves for her campaign.
Even before the upcoming primary election, the right-wing Wisconsin Club for Growth, along with anti-public education groups have already committed over $130,000 to electing Roggensack, with much of the money traced to out-of-state wealthy donors. Roggensack is seen as a key player in the conservative agenda to dismantle public education through the diversion of funding to unaccountable voucher schools.
According to the Jefferson County Daily Union, “Roggensack said voters could expect her to continue to uphold the legislative intent of the [Republican controlled] state Senate and Assembly.”
“A fundamental role of a Supreme Court Justice is interpreting and applying the State Constitution,” said Subeck. “Roggensack has made it clear that she views the job not as providing a system of checks and balances, but as a rubber stamp to the extreme policies of the GOP controlled Legislature.”
Wisconsin voters deserve to know if a candidate running to serve on our state’s highest court shares Johnson’s extreme political views and whether these views influence her judgment when interpreting Wisconsin’s Constitution.
“Roggensack’s appearance with Johnson, coupled with her own remarks, clearly calls into question her ability to fairly judge issues that come before the court,” Subeck said. “Roggensack should denounce the inflammatory statements made by Johnson and provide honest answers to the voters about her own seemingly partisan statements and positions.”
# # #
United Wisconsin is an independent, grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.