On September 21, 2015 - the same day Scott Walker dropped his presidential bid - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks died in his chambers. Crooks had previously announced that he was going to retire at the end of his term which would have been next year.
Three people - Joseph Donald, JoAnne Kloppenburg and Rebecca Bradley announced their candidacy for the seat. The primary will be in February and the general election will be in April.
As predicted, Walker announced today, just months before the election, that he was appointing his political ally, Bradley, to finish the rest of Crooks term:
Gov. Scott Walker announced Friday he is appointing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court conservative appeals court Judge Rebecca Bradley, who is already running to fill the vacant seat.This is Bradley's third political appointment in as many years, despite her alarming lack of judicial qualifications.
Walker made the announcement at a news conference at the Capitol.
Walker previously appointed Bradley to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2012 and the 1st District Court of Appeals earlier this year. She won re-election to the circuit court position in 2013.
He said his criteria for the selection included integrity, an understanding of the law and recognition that the role of a justice is to uphold the constitution and laws of Wisconsin.
The two years that Bradley served as circuit court judge was at children's court in Milwaukee, and she didn't even oversee all the types of cases that are there, much less any other type of court proceeding. She didn't even serve for five months as the politically appointed appellate court judge before Walker gave her another bump up today.
This is a blatantly political move to give Bradley the advantage in next year's elections by giving her the incumbent status. The only reasons for her meteoric rise over the past three years is that she has all the right right wing credentials - Federalist, John Bircher, and obedient puppet - and that Walker has to still kowtow to the special interests to get money to pay off his massive debts.
Although it will need to be seen as to how much advantage there really is to be the political appointee of a governor with only a 37% favorability rating.