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Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson won’t run again

Shirley Abrahamson

MADISON — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson will not seek re-election next year.

The 84-year-old Abrahamson issued a statement saying “For a variety of reasons, I have decided not to seek re-election.” She calls it the right decision for her and the state.

Abrahamson is the former long-time chief justice and the first woman on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, joining in 1976. She has been sick in recent months and participating on cases by telephone only.

Abrahamson says she intends to serve on the court through July 31, 2019.

CLICK HERE to read Justice Abrahamson’s statement

Abrahamson has been part of a two-justice liberal minority that will grow to three in August when Rebecca Dallet joins the court.

The election to replace Abrahamson will be in April. Abrahamson says she will encourage qualified candidates to run.

Officials released statements in reaction to Abrahamson’s news:

Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh)

“I want to thank Justice Abrahamson for serving the citizens of Wisconsin with distinction for more than 40 years on the bench. I will remember Justice Abrahamson for her tireless work ethic and brilliant legal mind. She has always possessed a unique ability to serve as a voice of reason while speaking her mind in order to uphold the rule of law and the founding principles of our state and nation. Through her legal opinions and leadership as Chief Justice, Justice Abrahamson’s legacy will live on in Wisconsin history for generations. I wish her the very best in her retirement.”

Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer, Wisconsin Court of Appeals

“For more than 40 years, Shirley Abrahamson has delivered justice from Wisconsin’s high court bench. She’s inspired countless women, lawyers, judges, and leaders, with her sharp wit, extraordinary intellect, profound understanding of the law, and deep, principled beliefs.

“I thank Justice Abrahamson for her service and longstanding commitment to the citizens of Wisconsin. Her legacy will be top of mind as I explore a run for the Supreme Court, and I intend to consult with colleagues, friends, and family, in order to make a decision about a campaign quickly.”