A Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate thinks the court has skewed too far to aiding large and wealthy interests at the expense of average citizens. Madison attorney Tim Burns campaigned in the Northwoods last week.
He says the state Supreme Court has a real impact..
"....the Supreme Court takes 40, 50, 60 cases a year. Only a third of them are criminal cases. The rest are cases in which they shape our economy, and our political system. They've been shading it in favor of concentrated corporate wealth instead of small farms, small businesses and workers...."
Burns has no experience as a judge. He is considered a leading attorney taking on large insurance companies. He has chaired the American Bar Association's committee on Fair and Impartial Courts, and serves on the national board of the American Constitution Society, an organization that focuses on constitutional issues.
Burns has been criticized by opponents and others for taking openly political positions. Judicial candidates like to defer from issues, thinking it will take away their impartiality.
Burns doesn't agree...
"....anybody who tells you otherwise just isn't being straight with you. I hear a lot of judges, a lot of lawyers who have a hang up about this they say,'oh, no, it's non-political' ..that's baloney...regular people know it's baloney. It's actually the condescending judge-lawyer stuff toward regular people that just drives me nuts...."
Burns says if someone has given a large contribution to the judge’s campaign, they should recuse themselves from that case.
Burns is joined by two other candidates, Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock, and Milwaukee county judge Rebecca Dallet. The three are running to replace state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who is not seeking a second 10-year term. A Feb. 20 primary will narrow the field to two candidates. The general election is April 3.