Retiring Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Drake Roggensack was honored by her fellow justices and received a standing ovation in the Supreme Court Hearing Room today in Madison, just moments before the start of the final oral argument scheduled for the Court’s 2022-23 term, according to a written statement by the Court.
Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler thanked Justice Roggensack for her leadership as former chief justice and for her many years of public service.
“She has worked tirelessly to serve the people of the state of Wisconsin. I can tell you it’s truly been an honor and privilege to serve with my colleague, and you will be missed,” Ziegler said, turning to Roggensack at the bench.
Roggensack is retiring July 31, after having served two full 10-year terms on the Court. She previously served as a Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge, from 1996 to 2003. Roggensack was the Supreme Court’s first chief justice to be elected by a vote of the Court in 2015. She was twice re-elected to that position and served as chief justice until 2021.
“She was the chief justice when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, and while many of the businesses and government offices closed down, the Court simply could not. And so attorneys, litigants, judges and the public looked to the Court for guidance, and she provided that. Her leadership and the development of interim rules and procedures kept the Wisconsin court system running,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler credited Roggensack for spearheading the commercial court docket pilot program and successful efforts to increase judicial compensation.
“She’s no stranger to burning the midnight oil, and I personally know that,” Ziegler said.
Roggensack thanked her fellow justices and said she has been honored to serve.
“The privilege has been mine. The people of Wisconsin voted for me in 2003 and again in 2013, and it really has been a privilege to serve the people of Wisconsin. It’s challenging work. I work with very innovative and intelligent justices. It’s absolutely been my privilege. So, to the people of Wisconsin, ‘thank you very much,’ and to my colleagues, thank you all,” Roggensack said.