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‘Faithful guardian of the Constitution’: High court honors Dan Kelly

The Wisconsin Supreme Court honored Justice Dan Kelly for his time on the high court, with Justice Rebecca Bradley calling him a “faithful guardian of the Constitution” and a good friend.

Kelly’s term ends on July 31, after an unsuccessful bid for a full 10-year term as a state Supreme Court justice. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky defeated him in the April 7 election.

Bradley thanked Kelly for his service on Thursday at the end of the state Supreme Court’s last scheduled oral argument.

“He has been a faithful guardian of the constitution and a staunch defender of the rule of law, always applying the rule of law as it is written and not as he may wish it to be,” Bradley said.

She also said Kelly has authored some of the court’s most important opinions.

“Justice Kelly’s departure from this court is a grave loss, not only to the court as an institution, but most importantly, to the people of Wisconsin we serve,” Bradley said.

Chief Justice Pat Roggensack said the justices would have given Kelly a standing ovation, had they been in court together, but a round of applause over the Zoom online video conference had to suffice.

Kelly was appointed the state Supreme Court in 2016 by Gov. Scott Walker.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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