Gov. Scott Walker today appointed appeals court Judge Rebecca Bradley to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Bradley fills the vacancy left by the sudden death of Justice N. Patrick Crooks, 77, on Sept. 21 at the court in Madison. Crooks had planned to retire at the end of his term in the spring.
A conservative, Bradley is among the candidates vying for the spot on the court for the next 10-year term. That election is in April, and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Joe Donald and state Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg are also in the race.
With Bradley’s appointment, the State Supreme Court has five conservatives among its seven members. Walker previously appointed Bradley to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2012 and then the First District Court of Appeals this year.
Walker lauded Bradley’s ability to work well with others in her previous roles, regardless of their ideologies.
“My criteria overall is simple: I want a person of integrity…I want someone who understands the law…and third, most importantly, she’s shown both in private practice and particularly now on the bench that she understands her job is to uphold the constitution,” he said. “It’s incumbent upon any governor, Republican or Democrat, to put the best person on the bench.”
Bradley said she would let her work over the next six months demonstrate her capabilities to voters in the upcoming election.
“I would first like to express my sincere sympathy to the family of Justice Pat Crooks,” Bradley said at a press conference this morning. “I honor his memory and his service to the people of Wisconsin as a member of the judiciary. I am very much looking forward to serving as a member of the State Supreme Court and I am looking forward to working with each of my colleagues on the Supreme Court to make sure the people of Wisconsin and the interests of justice are well served.”