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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Victory declared for Judge Kloppenberg and Wisconsin working citizens

District Court Judge Joanne Kloppenberg (D)
won a highly contested race in Wisconsin
against incumbent WI Supreme Court
Judge David Prosser (R), by 204 votes   
For a state Supreme Court Race, it was among one of the closest watched races in the country. The margin of victory was just 204 Wisconsinites votes and went late into the night on Tuesday, April 5th, until the next day.

The highly regarded seat on the highest court in the state, could negatively impact Governor Scott Walker's (R) collective-bargaining ending bill. Walker's worker union-stripping measure seeks to do away with many state workers and public school teachers bargaining agreements negotiating wages, working conditions and benefits.

It is likely that Gov. Walker's bill would be presented before the Wisconsin State Supreme Court in the near future. For workers in the state who believed employees right to bargain in good faith should be protected, if Conservative Judge John Prosser remained in his seat, chance that relief from the measure would be found at a Federal District or Supreme Court level, was not a bet they preferred to gamble on.

The razor thin margin of victory included out of 1,479,976 total votes casted, 740,090 were for Judge Kloppenberg versus 739,886 for the incumbent Judge Prosser, according to the Associated Press. If the vote totals holds after an inevitable recount, the final margin would be … 50.0068% to 49.9931%, or an evenly close to a 50/50 split.

In a statement to Milwaukee-Wisconsin JS Online, Judge Kloppenburg said regarding her victory:
“We owe Justice Prosser our gratitude for his more than 30 years of public service. Wisconsin voters have spoken and I am grateful for, and humbled by, their confidence and trust. I will be independent and impartial and I will decide cases based on the facts and the law. As I have traveled the State, people tell me they believe partisan politics do not belong in our Courts. I look forward to bringing new blood to the Supreme Court and focusing my energy on the important work Wisconsin residents elect Supreme Court justices to do.”
Kloppenberg's victory marks two months of protests by the working citizens of Wisconsin against the highly partisan agenda of Gov. Scott Walker and the state Republican House and Senate membership. The famed 'Wisconsin 14', which included fourteen of Democratic Senate members, fled to neighboring Illinois during the month of March, at the height of the disagreements, to stop the questionable actions of state GOP elected officials enacting the collective bargaining ending legislation.

It is believed the Wisconsin Supreme Court win, Progressive, Democrat, left-wing lending Independent based grassroots groups and state Union organizations, will have the momentum to recall a number of state Republican Senators who pushed for Gov. Walker's bill to be passed.

Currently, the legislation is on hold, after a decision by District Court Judge Maryann Sumi's ordered enactment of the plan halted, in late March. The court is considering a challenge by Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D), questioning if Senate committee vote passing over the bill to the full body for an up or down vote, violated the states' Open Meeting Act. The act requires for all state committee hearing dates to be openly announced to the public, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

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