Patience D. Roggensack

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Patience Drake Roggensack
Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Assumed office
April 29, 2015
Preceded by Shirley Abrahamson
Associate Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Assumed office
August 1, 2003
Preceded by William A. Bablitch
Personal details
Born (1940-07-07) July 7, 1940 (age 76)
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Drake University (B.A.), University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D.)

Patience Drake Roggensack (born July 7, 1940) is currently a Justice and the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.[1] She was elected to the Supreme Court in 2003 and was re-elected in 2013. Her current term expires July 31, 2023.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Roggensack was born in Joliet, Illinois. She graduated from Lockport Township High School in Lockport, Illinois; she then received her bachelor's degree from Drake University in 1962, and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1980. Roggensack then practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin.

Roggensack's daughter, Ellen Brostrom, serves as a circuit court judge in Milwaukee County. [3]

Judge, Justice, and Chief Justice[edit]

Before joining the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Roggensack was elected to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in 1996 and re-elected in 2002. Prior to serving on the Court of Appeals, she practiced law for 16 years, including at the DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C. firm in Madison, Wisconsin.

Roggensack was elected to the position of Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court by her peers on April 29, 2015 following the certification of votes from the April 2015 election. Voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that changed the way that the chief justice of the Supreme Court was selected. Previously the justice with the most seniority held the position, but the amendment allowed court members to choose the chief justice.

Following the justices' election of Justice Roggensack as the new chief justice, former Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson filed a federal lawsuit challenging the implementation of the constitutional amendment, which was heard on May 15, 2015. Five of the seven justices asked the federal judge to dismiss Abrahamson’s lawsuit.[4] On May 15, 2015 the federal court denied Abrahamson's request for immediate reinstatement as Chief Justice. U.S. District Judge James Peterson determined there was no harm in Roggensack serving as chief justice while Abrahamson's lawsuit continues.[5]


  1. ^ Patience D. Roggensack, Wisconsin Historical Society
  2. ^ Patience Roggensack, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  3. ^ Marie Rohde - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Mother, daughter judges a first for Wisconsin". 
  4. ^ Patrick Marley. "State high court quickly ousts Shirley Abrahamson as chief justice", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 29, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Rob Schultz - Wisconsin State Journal. "Judge denies Shirley Abrahamson's bid to be immediately reinstated as chief justice". 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Shirley Abrahamson
Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Preceded by
William A. Bablitch
Associate Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court