Milwaukee County judge touts experience for state high court seat

Milwaukee County Judge Rebecca Dallet said she has the right combination of experience and values to make her the best candidate for a vacant Wisconsin Supreme Court seat.

“I’m the only candidate who has that,” she said Thursday during an Eau Claire interview, adding that she has presided over 230 jury trials and more than 10,000 cases as a judge.

“I really know the courts in and out. I’ve made the tough decisions every day. There’s just no substitute for that kind of experience,” Dallet said.

Dallet was in Eau Claire for a campaign event and to attend a function for the Eau Claire County Bar Association.

Dallet, 48, is one of three candidates running in next spring’s election for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Michael Gableman.

Gableman announced in June he would not seek a second 10-year term.

Michael Screnock, a Sauk County judge since 2015, and Madison attorney Tim Burns are also seeking Gableman’s seat.

Dallet said she’s running for Supreme Court to make sure issues such as equal protection under the law, worker’s and women’s rights, and clean water are properly addressed.

“We’re at a time where our values are under attack,” she said. “We need someone to stand up and repair our Supreme Court. We’re living in a moment in time where all of this is at the forefront.”

One example where the Supreme Court is broken is when Gableman didn’t recuse himself from a Supreme Court case involving one of his major campaign contributors, Dallet said.

“The public has lost confidence in the court’s ability to be fair and independent,” she said.

People care about experience, Dallet said.

“I’m the only candidate who has been a sitting judge for a decade,” she said. “I’m prepared to take the job on day one and do what needs to be done.”

Dallet said she understands the issues and how to advocate for better policies on the Supreme Court, including a recusal rule.

Dallet said she has received broad support from law enforcement and defense attorneys, and has been endorsed by 170 judges from across the state.

“I think that speaks why I am the best candidate,” she said.

Dallet was elected as a judge in Milwaukee County in 2008 after working 11 years as an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County and one year as the presiding Milwaukee County court commissioner.

From 1999 to 2002 she also worked as a special assistant U.S. attorney. She was an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School from 2006 to 2008.

A native of Ohio, Dallet received her law degree from Case Western University in Cleveland and graduated from Ohio State University. She moved to Wisconsin in the mid-1990s and currently lives in Whitefish Bay.

By Dan Holtz, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram 

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