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Wisconsin Supreme Court to consider campaign donation rule

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Wisconsin Supreme Court

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to consider whether to bar judges at all levels from hearing cases involving people who’ve donated significantly to their election campaigns.

The court, which has a 5-2 conservative majority, is meeting Thursday to discuss a petition from 54 retired Wisconsin judges pushing for more stringent rules. The group wants judges to recuse themselves if they’ve received donations from any party in a case, ranging in size from $10,000 for Supreme Court justices to $500 for municipal judges.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is the most outspoken opponent of the rule change, arguing that campaign donations amount to free speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal-leaning groups support the change.

The justices may not make a decision Thursday.

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