Wisconsin Constitution
Article VII - Judiciary
Section 3 - Supreme court: jurisdiction.

Universal Citation: WI Const art VII § 3
[As amended April 1977]
  1. The supreme court shall have superintending and administrative authority over all courts.
  2. The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction over all courts and may hear original actions and proceedings. The supreme court may issue all writs necessary in aid of its jurisdiction.
  3. The supreme court may review judgments and orders of the court of appeals, may remove cases from the court of appeals and may accept cases on certification by the court of appeals. [1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]

The authority of supreme court to review and modify criminal sentences is discussed. Riley v. State, 47 Wis. 2d 801, 177 N.W.2d 838.

The supreme court's authority to issue a writ of error is not dependent upon a specific legislative enactment, but the constitution and statutes relating to its appellate jurisdiction give it the authority to issue such writs as are necessary to exercise its appellate jurisdiction. Shave v. State, 49 Wis. 2d 379, 182 N.W.2d 505.

A writ of error coram nobis cannot be used for the purpose of producing newly discovered evidence affecting only the credibility of a confession. Mikulovsky v. State, 54 Wis. 2d 699, 196 N.W.2d 748.

The supreme court exercises an inherent supervisory power over the practice of the law and this can be more effectively exercised with an independent review. Contrary language, if any, in prior cases withdrawn. Herro, McAndrews & Porter v. Gerhardt, 62 Wis. 2d 179, 214 N.W.2d 401.

The supreme court declines to adopt the equitable doctrine of “substituted judgment" under which a court substitutes its judgment for that of a person incompetent to arrive at a decision for himself or herself. In re Guardianship of Pescinski, 67 Wis. 2d 4, 226 N.W.2d 180.

Courts are endowed with all judicial powers essential to carry out the judicial functions delegated to the courts. These powers are known as incidental, implied, or inherent powers, all of which terms are used to describe those powers that must necessarily be used by the various departments of government in order that they may efficiently perform the functions imposed upon them by the people. In re Hon. Charles E. Kading, 70 Wis. 2d 508, 235 N.W.2d 409 (1975).

Adoption by the supreme court of a rule 17 requiring annual financial disclosure by judges of assets and liabilities was valid and enforceable under the court's inherent power to function as the supreme court and under the court's general superintending control over all inferior courts. In re Hon. Charles E. Kading, 70 Wis. 2d 508, 235 N.W.2d 409 (1975).

A declaration of rights is an appropriate vehicle for the exercise of superintending control over inferior courts. State ex rel. Memmel v. Mundy, 75 Wis. 2d 276, 249 N.W.2d 573.

The supreme court has power to formulate and carry into effect a court system budget. Moran v. Dept. of Admin. 103 Wis. 2d 311, 307 N.W.2d 658 (1981).

The court will invalidate legislation only for constitutional violations. State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d 358, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983).

A statute that required the withholding of a judge's salary for failure to decide cases within a specified time was an unconstitutional intrusion by the legislature into an area of exclusive judicial authority. In Matter of Complaint Against Grady, 118 Wis. 2d 762, 348 N.W.2d 559 (1984).

A court's inherent power to appoint counsel is not derived from an individual litigant's constitutional right to counsel, but rather is inherent to serve the interests of the court. A court may use its inherent discretionary authority to appoint counsel in furtherance of the court's need for the orderly and fair presentation of a case. Joni B. v. State, 202 Wis. 2d 1, 549 N.W.2d 411 (1996), 95-2757.

When confronted with a direct conflict between a decision of the state supreme court and a later decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on a matter of federal law, the court of appeals may certify the case to the state supreme court under s. 809.61. If it does not, or certification is not accepted, the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution compels adherence to U.S. Supreme Court precedent on matters of federal law, although it means deviating from a conflicting decision of the state supreme court. State v. Jennings, 2002 WI 44, 252 Wis. 2d 228, 647 N.W.2d 142, 00-1680.

Determining whether to recuse is the sole responsibility of the individual justice for whom disqualification from participation is sought. A majority of the court does not have the power to disqualify a judicial peer from performing the constitutional functions of a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice on a case-by-case basis. Aside from actions brought under the Judicial Code, the only constitutional authority to remove a justice rests with the legislature, by impeachment or address, or the voters by recall. State v. Henley, 2011 WI 67, 802 N.W.2d 175, 08-0697.

On the facts of this case, the court exercised its superintending authority to determine that the superintendent of public instruction and the Department of Public Instruction were entitled to counsel of their choice and were not required to be represented by the Department of Justice. Koschkee v. Evers, 2018 WI 82, 382 Wis. 2d 666, 913 N.W.2d 878, 17-2278.

The term “supervisory writ" is both: 1) the general term used in petitioning the court of appeals to exercise its constitutional supervisory authority and in petitioning the supreme court to exercise its constitutional superintending authority; and 2) a new writ the supreme court devised independent of the traditional common law writs. State ex rel. CityDeck Landing LLC v. Circuit Court for Brown County, 2019 WI 15, 385 Wis. 2d 516, 922 N.W.2d 832, 18-0291.

The Virginia supreme court was not immune from suit under s. 1983. Supreme Court of Virginia v. Consumers Union, 446 U.S. 719 (1980).

Inherent power and administrative court reform. 58 MLR 133.

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