MADISON — The conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reappointed a Dane County attorney involved in a failed attempt to persuade former Vice President Mike Pence to allow President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory on a state judicial advisory panel by accepting slates from voters for Donald Trump.
Attorney Jim Troupis was reappointed to the state Judiciary Conduct Committee in a 4-3 decision by the court, according to an order issued Thursday. The court’s liberal minority opposed the move.
“It is unfortunate that four of my colleagues agreed to such a divisive choice,” Judge Rebecca Dallet said in a statement.
“We disagreed because Mr. Troupis is a partisan who often appears in court and was right in front of us in a widely publicized, highly controversial case, which resulted in an attempted weaponization of the disciplinary process against Judge Karofsky and me. You would think that there would be less divisive leaders, we could come together and agree to name these roles.
According to state court officials, the commission was created to provide formal and informal advice to judges and bailiffs governed by the state’s code of judicial conduct. Troupis’ first three-year term on the committee ends on Tuesday. He will serve a second term until March 7, 2026.
Troupis did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Chief Justice Annette Ziegler hasn’t called back.
Former justice calls reappointment Troupis ‘a terrible mistake’
Former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske called the decision “a terrible mistake” in an interview because of Troupis’ ties to such controversial partisan events, even though he is a “highly competent” attorney and former judge. “The court should do everything it can to avoid appearing biased,” said Geske, now of Marquette University Law School.
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Troupis, a former circuit judge of Dane County, was hired by Trump’s campaign to oversee recounts of votes cast in Dane and Milwaukee counties following Trump’s 2020 loss and sought to reverse the result by counting hundreds of thousands of ballots to throw away, including his own and his wife’s. . He was one of the first to learn of a plan to place Republican voters in states where Trump sought to reverse the election results, receiving a memo on November 18, 2020, outlining the strategy.
The memo arrived the same day Troupis filed paperwork on behalf of the Trump campaign to begin recounting votes in liberal-leaning and populous counties. The U.S. Justice Department in December subpoenaed communications from election officials in both counties between their offices and Trump and his allies, including Troupis.
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U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said in June that he had arranged with Troupis to pass a document to Pence on the morning of January 6, 2021, that described Troupis as “Wisconsin electors.” A Pence aide turned down the offer, according to evidence released last year by a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol that happened the same day.
A state judicial oversight panel filed a 2021 complaint last fall against liberal-leaning Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky over her questioning of Troupis when he represented Trump in a lawsuit to overturn the results of the Wisconsin presidential election. The complaint was also against Dallet, but the commission did not pursue those allegations.
The Wisconsin Judicial Commission in November rejected the complaint “with an expression of concern,” which is not considered official discipline, because of a comment Karofsky made to Troupis that the commission considered sarcastic and another that accused Troupis of cheating the court. requested that the lawsuit be dropped. election “so that your king may remain in power.”
Molly Beck can be reached at [email protected]
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This article originally appeared in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Supreme Court Re-appoints Jim Troupis to Judicial Panel