Incoming Chief Justice Annette Ziegler pledged she will do “all I can to ensure the Wisconsin Supreme Court operates fairly and efficiently with a fidelity to the law.”
The court today selected Ziegler to succeed fellow conservative Pat Roggensack in the role. She takes over the role on May 1.
“We will make the people of this great state proud of our professionalism and collegiality, even during our sometimes vigorous debates,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler, 57, was first elected to the court in 2007 and was unopposed in her 2017 reelection bid. She is the third longest-serving member of the court behind liberal Ann Walsh Bradley and Roggensack.
Roggensack and Ziegler are part of the court’s 4-3 conservative majority.
One source said Roggensack nominated Ziegler for the post ahead of a vote by the justices.
In the role, Ziegler will be the administrative head of the state’s judicial system, and she said in a statement her focus will include helping circuit courts operate safely and efficiently in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
She will serve a two-year term that runs through 2023, when Roggensack’s term is up.
Roggensack, 80, was first elected to the court in 2003 and isn’t expected to seek reelection in two years, when control of the court will be up for grabs.
Roggensack’s conservative colleagues elected her chief justice in April 2015 after voters approved a constitutional amendment to stop giving the post to the most tenured member of the court. The change gave the justices the power to pick the chief and ended 19 years of liberal Shirley Abrahamson serving in the role.