Wisconsin Senate Judiciary committee clears plan to change the way the state picks its chief justice; Assembly committee votes today

I mentioned two weeks ago a plan circulating to once again try and change the way Wisconsin picks its chief justice. The bills are now out and at least one has met with initial approval.

Under the current system the most senior justice on the court is the chief justice. AJR 67 / SJR 57 however would provide that the justices themselves would elect a chief justice for a two year term. Unlike the prior iterations in 2011/2012, this 2013 version also includes a term limit provision: no chief justice could serve for longer than 6 years (i.e. 3 consecutive 2 year terms).

The Senate Judiciary approved its version October 29; the Assembly Judiciary Committee votes on its version later today.

If approved by both chambers it would need to be reapproved by the 2015/2016 legislature before going on the ballot.