“Women and the Wisconsin Supreme Court”: The Department of Justice Responds

Yesterday’s post elicited a communication from the Department of Justice, requesting that I inform readers of certain developments pertaining to the current term–most notably, opportunities for women from the Solicitor General’s Office to present oral arguments in the supreme court. I am happy to relay this information, which may be found in the following email.

Dear Prof. Ball –

In your most recent blog post on SCOWstats, you state:
“However, the percentage for this category was slashed more drastically by the contribution from the Department of Justice—and particularly the Solicitor General’s Office, from which no women at all emerged to deliver an oral argument in any of the office’s 13 cases. As a result, the share of the Department of Justice’s oral arguments that were presented by women—which had reached 55% in 2014-15—plummeted to 18% (6/33) in 2016-17.”

The 2016-2017 term was the first full term in which the Department of Justice used the SG’s office, which at that time was not at full strength. As of the current term, the SG’s office is fully staffed, with two female attorneys and three male attorneys, in addition to the SG himself. These two women have already argued two in this term, and will argue at least two more cases by the term’s end. You may cite to this website, so that your readers fully understand the office’s makeup: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/solicitor-general/solicitor-general.

We would appreciate you updating your article.

Thank you,

Johnny Koremenos

Johnny Koremenos
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Wisconsin Department of Justice

About Alan Ball

Alan Ball is a Professor of History at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.


SCOWstats offers numerical analysis of the voting by Wisconsin Supreme Court justices on diverse issues over the past 93 years.

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