Justice Patrick Crooks, 77

     MADISON, Wis. (CN) – Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patrick Crooks died in his chambers Monday, days after announcing plans to retire. He was 77.
     “Justice Crooks was an outstanding jurist, a thoughtful decision-maker and a colleague with a wonderful Irish sense of humor,” Chief Justice Roggensack said in a statement. “He was a good friend and colleague, and he will be greatly missed by all.”
     Roggensack died at the Capitol, according to the court’s statement, having remotely attended oral arguments in two cases Friday, shortly after announcing that he would retire at the end of his term in 2016.
     Crooks served on the state Supreme Court for 19 years and spent roughly as long before that on the Brown County Circuit Court.
     Though appointed by a Democratic governor, Crooks nevertheless ran for the state Supreme Court post as a conservative in 1996.
     Crooks was one of four conservatives on the seven-person court, but had sided with Democrats in several highly publicized rulings of late, including the fight over the court’s chief justice chair and the secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker.
     Walker announced he would suspend his run for the presidency just ahead of the announcement Monday afternoon about Crooks. He and several judges have publicly offered condolences to Crooks’s wife and six children.

%d bloggers like this: