WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/29/08) - There will be a debate in Madison between the two candidates running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The one hour debate will take place March 25th between Justice Louis Butler and Judge Michael Gableman. It will be held at the State Bar Center in Madison. Space is limited and free tickets are required to attend the reception and the debate. The event will also be simultaneously webcast on WisBar.org and will be rebroadcast on cable systems in various communities statewide by Wisconsin Eye.
Justice Butler was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jim Doyle in August 2004, becoming the first African-American Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin history. His term expires July 31, 2008.
Born in Chicago, Justice Butler was raised on the city’s south side. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton in 1973 and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1977.
After serving as an assistant state public defender from 1979 to 1992, Justice Butler was appointed to the Milwaukee Municipal Court. He served as a municipal judge until 2002, when he was elected to Branch 9 of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
Justice Butler is the recipient of numerous awards. In 2006, he was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the American Federation of Teachers, Local 212. In 2005, he won the NAACP Foot Soldiers’ Award and the Outstanding Citizen’s Award from the Wisconsin Council of Deliberations, Prince Hall Masons. He also received the 2002 and 2004 Trail Blazer Award presented by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Justice Butler is a permanent member of the faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, where judges from around nation take continuing education classes, and serves as a member of the bench in the Southwestern Law School Moot Court Competition in Los Angeles. He also was an adjunct assistant professor of law at Marquette Law School.
Justice Butler is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Bar Association, NAACP, Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers, Community Brainstorming Conference, Personnel Review Board, and James E. Doyle Chapter of the American Inns of Court.
Justice Butler is married with two daughters and two grandchildren.
Judge Michael Gableman has a distinguished and wide-ranging legal career serving as a Circuit Court Judge, District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, Administrative Law Judge, Adjunct Professor of Law, Deputy Corporation Counsel and private practice attorney.
Judge Gableman was appointed Burnett County Circuit Court in 2002 and was overwhelmingly elected to the bench in 2003 with 78% of the vote. A law-and-order judge, he has been recognized for developing innovative programs which emphasize personal responsibility and maximize accountability. He led the establishment of ongoing Inmate Community Service and Restorative Justice Programs, and the Burnett County Drug and Alcohol Court over which he presides.
Judge Gableman is also active in the legal community serving on the Wisconsin Supreme Court's State Court/Tribal Court Relations Committee and is a past member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council.
Prior to his experience on the bench, Judge Gableman was appointed District Attorney for Ashland County (1999) by Governor Tommy G. Thompson and subsequently won election to the position. As District Attorney, he was the lead prosecutor on cases as diverse as arson, sexual assault, domestic violence, and white collar crimes. He also served as a front-line prosecutor in Marathon County (1997-1999) and Langlade County (1996-1997) as an Assistant District Attorney.
Judge Gableman's broad experience includes serving as Deputy Corporation Counsel of Forest County, and as a private attorney specializing in probate, real estate, and corporation law. As Deputy Counsel he successfully argued before the Wisconsin State Supreme Court in 1998.
Judge Gableman earned his Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law in 1993, earning Dean's List honors. While attending law school he served as a Law Clerk for the United States Attorney's Office in Minneapolis, MN, where he helped prepare federal criminal cases for prosecution and defend the government's arguments on appeal. Upon graduation he served as a Law Clerk for judges in Douglas County, MN (1993-1995) and in Brown County, WI (1995-1996).
Judge Gableman was born in West Allis and was raised in Waukesha County. He is a graduate of New Berlin West High School and a Ripon College graduate (1988), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and History.
After undergraduate school, Judge Gableman followed through on a personal goal to mentor young people by teaching American History in the Milwaukee Public School System (1988-1989) before pursuing a legal career. He built on his commitment to education by teaching at Hamline University School of Law as Adjunct Professor of Law (2003-2005), and he frequently lectures on the dynamics of domestic violence.
Judge Gableman resides in Webster, and has been a member of a variety of community service groups, including the Knights of Columbus (Past Grand Knight-Ashland Council), Masons, Fraternal Order of Moose, and Rotary International
A reception for the candidates and attendees will be held prior to the debate beginning at 5:30 p.m. Space is limited and free tickets will be available to the public beginning March 7.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a Wisconsin law license.
With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers.
For additional details and tickets contact Thomas Solberg, State Bar Public Relations Coordinator at (608) 250-6025 or 800-444-9404, ext. 6025.
For more information, visit www.wisbar.org or www.legalexplorer.com