Prof. James Sample Says Wisconsin Supreme Court Has Gone From Being a ‘National Model to a National Punch Line’

James Sample, Associate Professor of Law

Justice Prosser Was Asked to Get Help for Anger, Sources Say
By Patrick Marley and Emma Roller
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
June 28, 2011


James Sample, a professor at Hofstra Law School in New York who has been monitoring Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in recent years as special-interest money has intensified in high-court races, said violence among judges is rare, especially for state high courts.

“There have been appellate courts that have been notoriously fractious . . . but nothing like this,” Sample said. “This is the body that is supposed to resolve disputes like this, not create disputes like this.”

The most recent conflict is a blemish on the court’s normally esteemed reputation, he said.

“Wisconsin’s Supreme Court for decades has been perceived nationally to be one of the premier state supreme courts in the country,” Sample said. “Wisconsin’s court has gone from being this national model to a national punch line.”

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