William Crowley for Milwaukee Municipal Judge-Branch 1
For Branch 1 of the Milwaukee Municipal Court, the Shepherd Express enthusiastically endorses William Crowley for Judge in the Tuesday, April 4 election. It is always difficult to unseat a sitting judge, and even when people know that it is time for a change, it is often easier to “just go along to get along,” and support the sitting judge. The Shepherd has never subscribed to that principle, and this municipal court race is no exception. In the past we enthusiastically supported and endorsed Judge Valarie Hill, unfortunately this year we have to support change. We have heard too many complaints from too many people that Hill doesn’t give everyone in her courtroom a fair shot and doesn’t treat everyone with the respect and courtesy they deserve. Both candidates are obviously qualified and intelligent attorneys who understand the law and could serve well on the bench. However, there is also the importance of the image of the court so, win or lose, the plaintiffs and defendants feel that they got a fair hearing and were treated with some level of respect.
We obviously believe in an orderly courtroom, but we also believe that an orderly courtroom must also be fair and respectful. Attorneys for both the plaintiffs and the defendants work to help insure that courtroom proceedings are civil and respectful. In municipal court, many individuals are not represented by an attorney because they can’t afford to hire one and must defend themselves. Judges facing a person trying to defend themselves should be more tolerant since the defendant does not understand courtroom procedures. Unfortunately that is not the case in all courtrooms. Our democracy works because people generally accept the outcome of the courts because they view the courts as relatively fair institutions. That is important to preserve. We feel that Hill’s demeanor has changed over the years, so we are declining to endorse her in her bid for re-election this year.
We are endorsing attorney William Crowley. As you recall, there was a four-way primary with three very capable attorneys challenging Hill. Bill Crowley and Judge Hill prevailed. Crowley, a Marquette Law School graduate, has spent much of his legal career very successfully advocating for people with disabilities. He is paralyzed from the chest down as a result of an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver when he was just 2 years old that killed both his mother and stepfather. Obviously, the crash changed his life in many, many ways, but did not damage his resolve. He not only excelled in college but went on to law school and a successful and meaningful legal career. He is bright, capable, fair minded, and would be an excellent addition to the Milwaukee Municipal Court system. We encourage Shepherd readers to vote for him on Tuesday, April 4.
To learn more about William Crowley, go to crowleyforjudge2017.com.