Kloppenburg elected to WI Supreme Court, perhaps not in time to hear key labor case

JoAnne Kloppenburg, dark horse liberal candidate in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, defeated incumbent Justive David Prosser by a mere 204 votes. This will almost certainly trigger a recount, given the importance of the narrowly-divided court in either upholding or striking down Gov. Scott Walker’s recent initiative to strip public employees in WI of most of their collective bargaining rights. But even if Kloppenburg survives the recount, she may not get a chance to rule on the law:

Even if Prosser loses, he will remain on the court until August. Many observers expect the challenge to the collective bargaining reform to come before the high court prior to that time, meaning Prosser, not Kloppenburg, would hear the case. The prospect of a lame duck judge who just lost his seat as a result of this controversy ruling on the measure doesn’t give anti-Walker forces much optimism.

“If Prosser loses he will not only be a lame duck justice, he’s going to be a very angry and bitter justice,” Wisconsin-based Democratic strategist John Kraus said.

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