Why Shelton, Jones Want To Be Judge
Candidates for Branch 40 Circuit Court talk about their motivations.
Andrew Jones and Danielle Shelton are competing for the Branch 40 judicial seat now vacated by Rebecca Dallet when she was elected to the State Supreme Court in April 2018. Jones has held the seat since August, when he was appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker.
This is the only contested Milwaukee County judicial race this spring. Shelton and Jones agreed to answer a series of questions to better inform judges about the race.
Question 1: Why do you want to become a judge?
I see what’s wrong in our court system every day. My clients are the most vulnerable in society – poor, usually of color, and shunned for having been accused of committing a crime. Even if innocent, they often spend months or years behind bars and face devastating social and economic penalties. I think judges can help create a fairer, more equitable system that treats all litigants with dignity and humanity, and considers the consequences of an unjust system.
Only two other Black women have ever been judges in Wisconsin’s Circuit Court history. It’s time that more women of color step up to leadership and bring our experience, values, and sense of justice to the bench.
I’m also someone who has struggled economically. I raised two girls as a single mom. I have worked in the finance industry and as a low-paid, public-interest lawyer (I put myself through law school), and I had to declare bankruptcy once. I know what middle-class families face and how hard it is to make ends meet. The entire system is rigged to benefit those at the very top, and judges can ensure that all people are treated fairly.
Shelton’s resume is here. Personal information, such as telephone numbers, personal email addresses, and the names of people not directly involved in the campaign have been redacted.
I sought a seat on the bench in Milwaukee County because I believe very strongly in the role of our courts in serving the ends of justice in our community. I am running to keep my seat on the bench for this same overriding reason.
Trial judges are the backbone of our legal system and the rule of law in our society. Their independence, fairness, and faithful application of the law to all who appear before them are what make our justice system function and are crucial to preserving the public’s faith in this core institution of our society.
As someone who was born and raised in Milwaukee by two long-time public servants, and as the father of two teenage daughters, I am dedicated to doing all that I can to ensure that this public trust in our judicial system only grows through my service as a judge.
I came to the bench with 24 years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer at every level of the state and federal judicial systems. With my broad experience as a practicing attorney, and given my work now on the bench, I am fully committed to serving all residents of Milwaukee County, fairly and impartially applying the law to everyone who comes before me, without exception.
Jones’ resume is here. Personal information, such as telephone numbers, personal email addresses, and the names of people not directly involved in the campaign have been redacted.
Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.