Federal judge dismisses former SCOWIS chief justice lawsuit alleging she was improperly stripped of title

MADISON -- A federal judge has dismissed former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's lawsuit alleging her colleagues improperly stripped her of her title.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in April allowing the justices to select their chief rather than automatically giving the title to the longest-serving justice. The liberal-leaning Abrahamson had been chief since 1996 but the court's conservative majority removed her hours after the election results were certified April 29th.

Abrahamson argued in her lawsuit the other justices couldn't strip her title until her current term on the court expires in four years.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled Friday that the amendment was effective April 29 and the justices were authorized to pick a new chief justice that day.

Abrahamson's attorney didn't immediately respond to an email.