Wisconsin Supreme Court Decisions

The Wisconsin Supreme Court focuses on reviewing appeals from the lower appellate court, but it also oversees the practice of law throughout Wisconsin, including the conduct of attorneys and judges. It holds original jurisdiction only in a narrow range of situations. The Supreme Court has issued a Code of Judicial Conduct, divided into five sections. It emphasizes the importance of independence, integrity, and impartiality in the operations of the judiciary, and it warns judges against conflicts of interest and inappropriate political activities. Seven justices serve on the Court, and each of their terms lasts for 10 years.

Article VII, Section 24 of the Wisconsin Constitution provides the eligibility requirements to serve as a justice. A candidate must be under 70 years old and must have been licensed to practice law in the state for at least five years before they are elected or appointed. Wisconsin uses non-partisan elections to choose its justices. These elections may be held in each year in which the term of an active justice ends. No more than one seat may be decided in any year. If a vacancy arises during the middle of a term, the Governor of Wisconsin holds the authority to appoint an interim justice. To stay on the Court, the interim justice must run in an election in the next year in which no other justice’s term ends.

Wisconsin recently changed the process of determining which justice serves as the Chief Justice. This required an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution, which was passed in April 2015. Before the amendment, seniority on the Supreme Court determined the selection of the Chief Justice. Under the new system, the justices vote to elect the Chief Justice, who serves a two-year term in that role. After the amendment was passed, the Chief Justice at the time filed a lawsuit in a federal court to try to block it, but the court dismissed the case.

Browse Opinions From the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Brett R. Blomme
Date: November 25, 2022
Docket Number: 2022AP000998-D
State v. Moeser  
Date: November 23, 2022
Docket Number: 2019AP002184-CR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of operating while intoxicated (OWI) sixth offense, in violation of Wis. Stat. 346.63(1)(a), holding that Defendant's constitutional right to be free from abusive…

State v. Wilson  
Date: November 23, 2022
Docket Number: 2020AP001014-CR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming both Defendant's judgment of conviction and the circuit court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence, holding that police officers'…

Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Terry L. Constant
Date: November 23, 2022
Docket Number: 2021AP000033-D
Saint John's Communities, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee  
Date: November 22, 2022
Docket Number: 2020AP001696

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the order of the circuit court denying the City of Milwaukee's motion to dismiss this action brought by Saint John's Communities for recovery of…

Robert L. Slamka v. General Heating and Air Conditioning
Date: November 4, 2022
Docket Number: 2020AP000128
Kormanik v. Brash  
Date: October 26, 2022
Docket Number: 2022AP001736-W

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted Petitioner's petition for a supervisory writ claiming that petitions for leave to appeal filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Rise, Inc. in Kormanik v. Wisconsin Elections…

Doe v. Madison Metro School District  
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Number: 2020AP001032

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court requiring disclosure of Plaintiffs' identities to opposing attorneys while allowing Plaintiffs to keep their names sealed and confidential as to the public and…

Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Nathan E. DeLadurantey
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Number: 2020AP001616-D
Becker v. Dane County  
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Numbers: 2021AP001382, 2021AP001343

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order and judgment of the circuit court in this case concerning whether local health officers may lawfully issue public health orders, holding that local health officers have statutory…

Teigen v. Wisconsin Elections Commission  
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Number: 2022AP000091

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning two documents created by employees of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) that authorized municipal clerks and local election officials to establish ballot drop boxes the Supreme Court held…

State v. C.G.  
Date: July 7, 2022
Docket Number: 2018AP002205

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court denying Ella's motion for a postdispositional motion to stay juvenile sex offender registration, holding that…

County of Dane v. Public Service Commission of Wisconsin  
Date: July 7, 2022
Docket Numbers: 2021AP001325, 2021AP001321-LV

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action contesting the merits of the Public Service Commission's (PSC) approval of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court, holding that, the court…

State v. Spencer  
Date: July 6, 2022
Docket Number: 2018AP000942-CR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court denying Defendant's postconviction motion but reversing the denial of Defendant's…

Friends of Frame Park, U.A. v. City of Waukesha  
Date: July 6, 2022
Docket Number: 2019AP000096

Justia Opinion Summary: In this public records case concerning attorneys fees, a majority of the Supreme Court adopted the principle that to "prevail in whole or insubstantial part" under Wis. Stat. 19.37(2)(a) means that the party must obtain…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.