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Area judge recalls Abrahamson friendship

Many thoughts come to Door County Circuit Court Judge Todd Ehlers' mind about Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson: colleague, mentor, an occasional adversary, and most importantly, a good friend.  Abrahamson died late Saturday from pancreatic cancer, just two days after her 87th birthday.  Ehlers first met Justice Abrahamson after he was elected to the bench 19-years ago.  He says he didn't agree with some decisions she made, though he was impressed with her commitment to equal justice.

 


Judge Ehlers also says he was impressed by Justice Abrahamson's personal approach with circuit court judges in all 72 counties.  He recalled one time when she officiated at the wedding of one of her staff members in Door County.
 



Abrahamson was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1976 by then-Governor Patrick Lucey. In 1979 she was elected to the first of four, ten-year terms on the bench before retiring in 2019. She served as Chief Justice from 1996 until 2015, marking the longest tenure of anyone in that post.

 

(photo courtesy of Wisconsin Courts)

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