After 27 years on the La Crosse County Circuit Court bench, Judge Romana Gonzales is leaving. One news source reported “resigned” while two others said “retiring” so let’s assume she is resigning to retire. Judge Gonzales came to La Crosse in 1981 and was in private law practice until she became the first female judge in La Crosse County in 1995. Over the years she had various leadership roles in both state and national judicial organizations. In 2010 she was an unsuccessful candidate for District IV of Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals.
Governor Evers will appoint a replacement to serve on the bench until July 31, 2023. We can only imagine what kind of liberal “feel good” jurist this Governor will appoint. We can only hope it will be a judge that rules by the Constitution and not legislate from the bench. Since Judge Gonzales’ resignation is effective July 1st this will be an appointment for (up to) thirteen months. There will be an election to fill the remainder of the six year term in the April 2023 Spring Elections. So, perhaps more appropriately, this article should have been titled “Replacing Judge Gonzales’s Replacement”!
The time is now to find a good conservative Constitutionally-minded lawyer to run for La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge in 2023. There may be other judge’s terms coming to an end in 2023 meaning more candidates may be needed.
A few years ago I shared the thought that we need a conservative judicial farm team – especially since so many Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices have Court of Appeals experience. And, so many of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judges have experience as a County Circuit Court Judge. And, though probably uncommon, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices could be selected for a federal court position and maybe eventually for the United States Supreme Court.
Just a few days before the Judge Gonzales announcement I had once again suggested to a member of the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s Executive Board that a conservative judicial farm team is needed. This is a logical step forward after the Republican Party of Wisconsin made a major (and over-due) effort on the local elections this spring.
If you think Governor Evers may consider appointing you to the current vacancy, you may want to contact Rep Steve Doyle (D-94) or Rep Jill Billings (D-95) for advice and guidance. Do this quickly as the deadline for submission of an application and related required documents is Friday, April 22nd.
No matter your judicial philosophy, we all need to thank Judge Romana Gonzalez for her time and talent as a La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge for over a quarter century. Her efforts are appreciated!