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Public Statements

Why I'm Running

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Judge Gableman's Announcement Text

Good Morning everyone. I'm Circuit Court Judge Mike Gableman and I am here today to announce my candidacy for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Before addressing the pressing issues in this race, please allow me this moment to tell you a little about who I am and why I am running.

I was born in West Allis was raised in New Berlin and am the youngest of five siblings. I like to say they saved the best until last, but I'll never put it up for a vote to my parents or the nuns that taught me at Holy Apostles Grade school.

I am a graduate of New Berlin West High School and of Ripon College, where I earned a BA in Education and History. After undergraduate school, I followed through on a personal goal by teaching American History in the Milwaukee Public School System before pursuing my legal career. Then, a few years after graduation from Hamline University School of Law, I served there as Adjunct Professor of Law. I continue to lecture on the dynamics of domestic violence.

I love being a judge, but I also like to teach. I'm the son of teachers. My dad, Norb, sold furniture for much of his life but he started his professional career as a school teacher. And my mom, Mary, recently retired from teaching 5th grade after many years. I've always have had a soft spot in my heart for education. Educators help prepare our future leaders and provide the foundation for our future society.

It is with that same concern for our future that I today announce my candidacy for the Supreme Court. I believe the breadth and depth of my experiences have me well prepared to serve the people of Wisconsin as an honest, impartial Justice on the state's highest court.

I've served as a front-line prosecutor in Marathon and Langlade Counties as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1999, Governor Tommy Thompson appointed me District Attorney for Ashland County and I subsequently won election to that position. I've personally prosecuted a wide variety of offenses including sexual assault, white collar crime, domestic violence and crimes against children.

I was appointed Burnett County Circuit Court Judge in 2002 and was elected to the bench in 2003 with 78% of the vote.

I led the establishment of ongoing Inmate Community Service and Restorative Justice Programs, and the Burnett County Drug and Alcohol Court over which I preside. I'm proud of these innovative programs because they hold offenders accountable, while providing for community service and personal responsibility.

I'm also active in the legal community serving on the Wisconsin Supreme Court's State Court/Tribal Court Relations Committee and am a past member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council.

My background includes time clerking for the United States Attorney's office, for judges in Douglas County Minnesota and up in Brown County. And I've been a private practice attorney specializing in probate, real estate, and corporate law. In short, I understand the many facets of the system and have worked my way up, learning and teaching along the way.

I am not a partisan ideologue, and I'm not a politician. I'm a judge who believes in the importance of an independent judiciary, beholden not to one party or one political leader, but to the law itself.

As I've detailed I bring a strong law enforcement background to the campaign for Supreme Court. That background as a prosecutor provides me with a perspective I believe would benefit the Court and stands in stark contrast to my opponent.

I know Justice Butler from when we attended new judge school together in 2002. Our philosophies and backgrounds are very different. I have more experience on the circuit court bench, and I am the only candidate in this race who has worked hard to hold criminals responsible and make them accountable for the consequences of their actions.

I'm fair, impartial and consistent. And my track record shows that I believe in personal responsibility and community service.

I am not running to become a lawmaker. Lawmaking should be left to the legislative and executive branches. I believe that justice comes from administering the law with an understanding that its source is the consent of the governed, not one's one personal ideology.

I believe the Court has an important, albeit distinct, role to play that is separate from the legislature and the Governor. I will not legislate from the bench. And whether we are talking about punitive damage awards, the constitutionality of sexual predator statutes, or a standard by which we determine the burden of proof for negligence, Wisconsin law enforcement and our citizens and business owners deserve and expect decisions from the Court that are fair and consistent. They'll get that fair and consistent approach from Justice Gableman. I'm my own guy. I'm running to be the people's justice, who is dedicated to and beholden to the law only.

Wisconsin deserves a fair, balanced and independent Supreme Court. My election would ensure fairness, balance and independence on the bench. The last time my opponent faced the voters, they rejected his philosophy. I believe, given the choice again, the results will be the same.

As I stand here today, launching a statewide effort, I'm reminded of my law school years when I worked at a concrete plant driving a truck during the summer between my first and second years of law school.

It was expected that the driver would pitch in if the site wasn't ready. In this case, the men were digging a large ditch and after grabbing a shovel I jumped into the trench. I soon was engaged in a conversation with a fellow employee who did this difficult work all the year round.

I disclosed to him that I was working my way through law school, and would soon be leaving to start my second year. After we finished the work, I was climbing out of the ditch, as I reached the top he called out "hey!" Somewhat startled by the abruptness of the shout, I turned back concerned that something was wrong. I'll always remember his words to me as I stood looking down. He said to me, "just don't forget the rest of us in the ditch when you finish law school."

Although that man probably forgot about me a long time ago he'd probably be very surprised to learn how often I think of him and his words.

I believe the court should also take those words to heart, because common sense administration of the law is not a class issue and it's not a partisan issue. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, if you favor common sense and consistent administration of the law over judicial activism then I'm your candidate for Justice.

I anticipate and welcome the support of all of those committed to a fair, honest, independent Court, dedicated to the rule of law.

Thank you


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