MADISON (WRN) - A national group of conservative lawyers is urging U.S. senators to reject Louis Butler as a new federal judge for the western half of Wisconsin. The group headed by former Reagan attorney general Ed Meese said Butler’s 2 State Supreme Court election losses show that the people of Wisconsin don’t believe he’s qualified to be on such an important court. But UW-Madison law school professor Ralph Cagle calls that argument ridiculous. Cagle worked with Butler after his last Supreme Court defeat almost 2 years ago. And he said some of the country’s best political leaders lost elections during their careers – including Abraham Lincoln and former Wisconsin Senator Bill Proxmire. Butler’s opponents call him an activist judge who has favored criminal defendants, and has written opinions costly to large corporations. But Cagle says Butler is a very balanced and scholarly judge. The Senate’s Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for Butler on November 4th. But the panel has not voted yet on whether to recommend him to the full Senate. If confirmed, Butler would replace retired federal judge John Shabaz of Madison.
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