The Journal Sentinel is reporting that Justice Rebecca Bradley may participate in cases that were argued, but not decided, before Governor Walker appointed her to SCOW. Click here. She is studying the issue. Justice Geske and NYU law Professor Stephen Gillers see no problem with this idea. Bradley could just listen to oral argument transcripts and then vote.
Lawyers who argued cases in September–before Justice Crooks passed away–may be troubled at this prospect. In the past, justices typically discussed a case, voted on it, and assigned it to a justice for drafting the majority opinion immediately after oral argument. If any September cases resulted in 4-3 splits with Crooks in the majority, Rebecca Bradley’s participation could convert a win into a loss. On Point does not know whether the new Chief Justice, Patience Roggensack, has altered SCOW’s process for deciding and assigning appeals for the 2015-16 term.
According to the Journal Sentinel, Rebecca Bradley is also considering whether or not to participate in Francis Schmitz’s motion to reconsider SCOW’s July decision to shut down the investigation into Governor Walker’s campaign. Justice Geske says this should not be permitted because Bradley did not participate in the original decision. Of course, there are other reasons this would be awkward–namely, the backing she has received from Wisconsin Club for Growth.