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Thursday, April 16, 2015

 8:15 AM 

Abrahamson lawsuit a factor in whether Crooks will seek re-election

Supreme Court Justice Pat Crooks told WisPolitics.com he has not decided whether he will run for re-election next spring, and Shirley Abrahamson's lawsuit will play a role in his decision. 

It has been widely speculated over the last year that the soon-to-be-77-year-old would not seek another 10-year term. But Crooks said in the interview he will not make a decision until early fall. 

Crooks said he would be dissuaded from running again if Abrahamson's lawsuit remains unresolved. She has sued in federal court seeking to delay implementation of a constitutional amendment that would allow the justices to select the chief. That position now goes to the most tenured member of the court, and she's held the post since 1996.

Crooks was critical of Abrahamson's lawsuit, saying he hopes it fails and expressed support for the amendment, saying he believed it would improve relations among the justices. 

"I would hope that I would be looking at the idea that things were going to get better and more pleasant for the future," Crooks said in the interview. "That would be a factor, certainly, that I would look at." 

Crooks said he will consider whether his health would allow another term and if his family would support another bid. He also said he would approach his fellow justices to see if he had "lost anything mentally" that would prevent him from continuing to serve on the court. 
Crooks, who turns 77 in May, was first elected to the court in 1996 after serving on the Brown County bench for 18 years. He was unopposed when he sought re-election to the Supreme Court in 2006. 

-- By JR Ross


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