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Legislature moving quickly on chief justice amendment (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democrats in the Wisconsin state Senate are arguing against a Republican-backed constitutional amendment that would change the way the state Supreme Court chief justice is selected.

The Senate was debating the measure Tuesday.

Democrats say it’s a blatant partisan attack against current liberal Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. She has been chief justice for more than 18 years.

Supporters argue it’s just bringing Wisconsin in line with 22 other states that have a peer-selection process.

According to the state’s constitution, the most veteran member of the court serves as chief justice. The amendment before the Legislature would have the seven-member court select its chief.

If passed by the Senate and then the Assembly on Thursday, the measure would go before voters on the April 7 spring ballot.

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