September 13, 2004

20 Questions for Chief Justice Abrahamson.

Wisblawg calls attention to the new "20 Questions" from How Appealing, which are directed this month at Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, who was also a lawprof here at Wisconsin. Three things I found interesting:

1. Abrahamson favors elections for judges (along with long terms): "Too much of what goes on in the appointment and confirmation process is kept behind closed doors; the public does not have an opportunity for meaningful participation in the process. Ideally, the elective system can also be an educational experience for both the judges and the electorate."

2. The judge--living or dead--she most admires is Chief Justice William Rehnquist! She appreciates his skill at handling the role of chief justice, plus he's from Wisconsin.

3. She faces up to the challenge of defending the Wisconsin "diploma privilege," which means that law students who graduate from Wisconsin law schools (i.e., Wisconsin and Marquette) do not need to take the Wisconsin bar exam: "For states with only a few accredited law schools, the diploma privilege is a terrific system. In fact, some states are currently considering adopting the diploma privilege. Wisconsin should not be viewed as the last to retain the diploma privilege; I like to think of Wisconsin as the leader on this issue, not the holdout."

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