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Supreme court justice marks milestone

Wisconsin News

Shirley Abrahamson has become the longest-serving State Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin's 165-year history. Abrahamson has been on the state's highest court for 36 years and seven months.

Yesterday, her record surpassed that of Orasmus Cole, who had held the previous longevity record since 1892. Legal historian Joseph Ranney of Madison calculated Abrahamson's service time.

The court said she has written almost 500 majority opinions, over 400 dissents, and almost 300 concurrences. Abrahamson became the state's first female justice in 1976, when former Governor Patrick Lucey appointed her.

Voters first elected her in 1979, and she's been re-elected three times since. On her last Election Night, the 79-year-old Abrahamson said she looked forward to running again in 2019. She's been the chief justice since 1996, a position given to the court member with the most seniority.