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Roggensack ‘concerned’ about recent comments about courts, calls for togetherness

Chief Justice Pat Roggensack said she’s “concerned” about comments made about members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, releasing a statement on Christmas Day decrying online attacks against justices and calling for togetherness.

The justices Rebecca Dallet, Jill Karofsky and Brian Hagedorn came under attack following the high court’s 4-3 ruling rejecting President Donald Trump’s lawsuit to overturn his loss to Joe Biden.

The Wisconsin Examiner reported that Dallet and Karofsky received anti-Semitic and misogynistic comments online. Trump criticized Hagedorn on Twitter, and following the tweets, Hagedorn told WISN 12 News that he and some of the justices were receiving extra police protection.

In her statement, Roggensack said no justice should be threatened or intimidated because of religious beliefs and that threats of violence “have no place in public discourse in a democratic society.”

She called for everyone to come together when possible and treat everyone with respect, even if there is disagreement over particular views.

The full statement reads as follows:

“I am concerned about recent comments aimed at members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I acknowledge that all members of the public have the constitutional right to speak in criticism of public servants, which certainly includes all justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  However, no justice should be threatened or intimidated based on his or her religious beliefs.  Wisconsin has a long history of protecting the right to freely worship, as well as the right to freely speak.

“Also, threats of actual or proposed violence have no place in public discourse in a democratic society.

“As we are about to begin a new year, let us all refocus on coming together where possible and treating those with whom we disagree with the respect that each of us would like to receive.”

– Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack, Wisconsin Supreme Court

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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