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Justices push back against Karofsky’s corruption allegations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Justice Dan Kelly’s conservative colleagues on the state Supreme Court are pushing back against his liberal challenger’s accusations that’s he’s corrupt, calling her attacks “reckless rhetoric” that risks undermining the court’s legitimacy.

Kelly is part of the high court’s five-justice conservative majority. He will face of against the liberal Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky on April 7. At stake is a 10-year term on the court.

Karofsky has gone on the offensive since the race began, repeatedly accusing Kelly in debates of being corrupt because he consistently rules in favor of conservative groups whenever they come before the court with a case.

Chief Justice Pat Roggensack and Deputy Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, two other members of the conservative majority, issued a statement Monday saying attacks on the court’s integrity hurt the heart of the judicial system.

They didn’t mention Karofsky by name, but said there’s a difference between debating the merits of a decision and “reckless rhetoric.”

“Such language risks undermining the court’s legitimacy with parties, attorneys, and the public,” the two justices said. “Judges and those seeking judicial office must be mindful and act with the decorum appropriate to the office.”

Karofsky’s campaign spokesman, Sam Roecker, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the statement.

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