Election 2015: Coverage of Wisconsin Question 1 starts today

There may be other items in the fall of 2015, but for certain there will be one ballot item that will affect state courts this spring. Wisconsin Question 1, adopted by the state’s legislature twice (2013/2014 session and then again just a few weeks ago) would end the practice where the longest continuously serving member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is chief justice and replace with a court-selects process.

Current

The justice having been longest a continuous member of said court, or in case 2 or more such justices shall have served for the same length of time, the justice whose term first expires, shall be the chief justice.

If Question 1 adopted

The chief justice of the supreme court shall be elected for a term of 2 years by a majority of the justices then serving on the court.

This week I’ll be looking at the subject of Question 1 in particular and the general question of what other states do, and have done, to pick chief justices.