"Walker's judges" is our effort to present information about Gov. Walker's appointees to the bench. The information is taken from the appointees' own judgeship applications.
Name: Gregory J. Strasser
Appointed to: Marathon County Circuit Court
Appointment date: July 1, 2016
Law School – Hamline University School of Law*
Undergrad – University of Wisconsin - Madison
High School – Wausau West High School
1997 - present - Partner with Strasser & Yde law firm
Marathon County Bar Association, 1988-present
The State Bar of Wisconsin, 1988-present
Civil Trail Counsel of Wisconsin, 1988-present
State Bar of Wisconsin Fee Arbitration Panel (District 5 chairman)
State Bar of Wisconsin Local Bar Relations Committee (2007-2010)
Vice president, Marathon County Bar Association (2005-2006)
President, Marathon County Bar Association (2006-07)
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: Extensive civil litigation experience in many venues since 1988. General civil insurance defense work, for the most part, but also business and real estate litigation. Also litigated some criminal law cases from 1997 to 2010
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: Since 1988 I have had jury trials in many venues including; Chippewa, Menominee, Sawyer, Wood, Portage, Marathon, Vilas, Price, Brown and Outagamie counties. I have had many more court trials in some of the same or other counties including; Lincoln, Langlade, Oneida and Clark counties.
Number of cases litigated on appeal: Involved in at least 30 since 1994
"As a Wisconsin Concealed Carry License holder since 2012, I feel I understand the great responsibilities of gun ownership and the rights afforded by the Second Amendment." -- Gregory J. Strasser
Professional or civic organizations, volunteer activities, service in a church or synagogue, or any other activities or hobbies that could be relevant or helpful to consideration of the application:
1. Director - Abby Bank (2012-present)
2. President - From Brothers Historical Preservation Society (2011 to present)
3. Board member - Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation (2015 to present)
4. Coach - D.C. Everest Mock Trial Team (2004 to present)
5. Honor Flight guardian (May 2015)
6. State Bar of Wisconsin Wills for Veterans volunteer (2014 to present)
7. Wisconsin Special Olympics Polar Plunge Firm Team Captain (multiple years)
Why I Want to Be a Judge - I was raised in Wausau, graduating from Wausau West High School in 1981. I immediately returned to Wausau, after graduating from law school in 1988, to start my legal career and raise my family. My partner and I started our own firm in 1997. We established a scholarship program to support local student athletes. Our firm supports community volunteer efforts in many ways. In addition to my individual community involvement and service, I take great pride in my legal reputation and believe I have significant support from bench and bar for my appointment to a judgeship. I believe I am qualified for the position and it would be an honor to be able to serve my community, as a judge.
Judicial philosophy - Judges call balls and strikes. They don’t bend the rules, or make up new ones, to justify a desired result. Judges also have to have the temperament necessary to deal with difficult situations, emotional litigants and frustrating attorneys. The public wants to know that the judicial branch of our government is strong, fair and impartial. This is what a good judge embodies. A good judge never forgets that the people who come before him are entitled to justice but may also require a moment of direction, compassion or attention from the court. Such a moment can make a great difference. Lastly, a circuit court judge is the most visible representation society has, when is comes to the judicial branch of government. A judge must never forget the responsibility that comes with the position.
Best Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision – District of Columbia v. Heller
In this 2008 case, the court held that the ban on registering handguns and a requirement to keep guns in the home disassembled or nonfunctional with a trigger lock violated the Second Amendment. The Court held that the first clause of the Second Amendment that references a “militia” is a prefatory clause that does not limit the operative clause of the Amendment. The case is important because it, in my mind, the most pervasive attack on the Second Amendment, to that point, was the “militia requirement” argument. In this respect, the court’s focus was correctly placed, not on the prefatory clause “A well regulated Militia…” as an announcement of purpose, but on the operative clause “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” in affirming the individual right to keep and bear arms. As a Wisconsin Concealed Carry License holder since 2012, I feel I understand the great responsibilities of gun ownership and the rights afforded by the Second Amendment. The Heller case makes clear the viability and power of the Second Amendment. It is up to me to live up to the responsibilities I assume in exercising those rights.
Worst Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision – King v. Burwell
In this 2015 case, the court addressed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court essentially validated the authority of the ACA by upholding the tax credits provided in the ACA. As such, it was proper for the Internal Revenue Service to create a regulation that extended the tax credits the Affordable Care Act authorized to federal exchanges as well as those created by the states. I was struck by how the ruling of the case seemed to ignore he plain language of the statute limiting the tax credits to state-created exchanges. This is an example, in my mind, of the danger of applying a more expansive reading of the language presented, in a way that, essentially, re-writes the language to make it fit the conclusion.
*(According to Wikipedia, "For its 2014 rankings, U.S. News & World Report's 'Best Law Schools' placed Hamline's overall law school program in a six-way tie at #126 among the 144 law schools it ranked."
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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