Liberals gained a 4-3 majority on Aug. 1 when Justice Janet Protasiewicz started her 10-year time period after successful election in April. Conservatives had held the majority for 15 years previous to that. The emails are the most recent signal of broiling tensions on the courtroom since liberals took management.
In their first week in energy, the liberal justices voted to fireplace the state courtroom director, rent Skwierawski and create a committee to do a lot of the work that the chief justice had carried out, a transfer that considerably weakened Ziegler. She was elected by the conservative majority to a second two-year time period as chief justice in May.
On Monday, Ziegler despatched Skwierawski an electronic mail telling her to cease signing orders beneath her identify.
“It has come to my attention that you have been signing my reserve judge orders without my knowledge or approval,” Ziegler wrote within the electronic mail. “You never asked me for permission. You do not have my permission. Stop. These orders are in my name. You have no lawful authority to sign them. If you have signed anything else under my name, please advise immediately.”
Skwierawski responded to Ziegler, in one other electronic mail obtained by AP, saying she “vehemently” disagreed that her appointment was unlawful. She additionally defended her motion signing orders assigning reserve judges, saying state regulation clearly offers her that authority.
“I had the legal authority and responsibility as well as the moral obligation to sign the orders for reserve judges,” she informed Ziegler.
Ziegler stated in response to questions from AP that “in order to not create problems at the circuit court” she was reissuing the orders beneath her identify. Ziegler stated she was additionally sending a canopy letter that she stated Skwierawski wouldn’t permit workers to ship.
Ziegler additionally despatched a scathing electronic mail to all of the justices as soon as once more accusing liberals of performing illegally, inflicting hurt to the courtroom’s inside operations and public notion. Ziegler refused to schedule weekly conferences with what she known as the “invented committee” created by the liberal justices.
“I am not willing to violate my oath or the constitution,” she wrote. “You know that this invented ‘committee’ is in violation of your oath, the constitution and longstanding court practice. It is illegitimate and unenforceable.”
A request for remark from the four-justice liberal majority, left with Supreme Court spokesperson Tom Sheehan, was not returned.
Ziegler additionally repeated her declare, made when Skwierawski was employed, that the assembly to fireplace her predecessor was unlawful and that she can’t maintain the place as a result of she is an elected Milwaukee County circuit decide. Skwierawski is on a go away of absence to take the courtroom director job.
“Judge Skwieraski has not stopped being a circuit court judge and there is absolutely no provision that allows her to take a leave (not resign) and be paid more money for a different position,” Ziegler wrote. “She cannot serve two positions at once. Her purported appointment as interim director of state courts raises serious concerns about this being a public trust violation.”
Ziegler stated she would promote nationally for a brand new director of state courts.
She additionally stated the committee created by the liberal justices is unconstitutional.
“Again, I will not condone such lawless destruction of the constitution, the judiciary, or the court,” Ziegler wrote. “For 40 years, the role of the Chief Justice has been understood and respected. Your short term goals will cause long term, irreparable damage to the judiciary. What a historical disgrace.”