Candidate for Supreme Court visits university

Lyssa Beyer

When someone asked Burnett County Circuit Court Judge Mike Gableman the most interesting case he presided over, his response got a few laughs.

“It was when the butler killed the boss with the candlestick,” he joked.

Gableman, who is running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, addressed a crowd of about 20 Tuesday night in Davies Center during the UW-Eau Claire College Republicans meeting.

As part of his campaign for the April 1 election, Gableman met with local officials, community leaders and students during his stop in the Chippewa Valley.

“(I’m) coming around to as many people as possible who are willing to sit still and listen to my case,” he said. “I’m happy as a clam at high tide in Burnett County, but . I felt this is an arena, a competition I must fight.”

Sophomore Bethany Aronhalt, a College Republican member and pre-law student, attended the meeting, eager to ask Gableman questions.

“My dream job would be to be a judge,” she said. “I came to hear what he had to say about his career.”

Before Gableman’s position in Burnett County, he served as Ashland County’s district attorney from 1999 to 2002 as the lead prosecutor. He also served as a prosecutor in Marathon and Langlade Counties as an assistant district attorney.

His speech Tuesday centered on the idea that justice comes from administering the law fairly and is not based on one’s personal ideology, something he said his opponent, Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler, falters in.

“The outcome of court cases should not be dependent on whether a justice happens to feel sorry for this person or this person,” he said. “As a judge, I work very hard to make my decisions on the rule of law.”

College Republican chairman Tom Burton said he was happy with Gableman’s presentation.

“A race like this, students don’t pay much attention, especially on Super Tuesday,” Burton said. “I was glad for Tuesday’s high turn-out.”

In addition, he said he liked that it wasn’t partisan, since the College Republicans is obviously a partisan group.

“It was more just about his views and a clean campaign,” Burton said.

Senior Dan Schauer, also a College Republicans member, said he doesn’t know much about the judicial process, but Gableman’s presentation interested him.

“He’s rising above political biases. It’s refreshing to see,” Schauer said. “The application of justice is more important than the particular side of the political spectrum we come from.”