The application process is now open for those vying to replace Justice David Prosser on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Gov. Scott Walker announced Thursday he will accept applications, which include a resume, cover letter, judicial application and writing sample until 4 p.m. on May 19.
Based on discussions with sources since Prosser's Wednesday announcement, here's a shortlist of likely contenders for the seat on the high court:
Judge Brian Hagedorn, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II
Hagedorn was appointed to the Court of Appeals, his first judicial appointment, by Walker in 2015. He previously served as the governor’s chief legal counsel from 2011 to 2015. He clerked for Justice Michael Gableman in 2009 and served as an assistant attorney general in the state Department of Justice for one year, from 2010 to 2011. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 2006, where he was president of the Federalist Society, a student group that promotes conservative and libertarian legal principles. Hagedorn is active in defending Act 10 in the courts and has said his faith informs his approach to the bench. Here is the application he submitted for his Court of Appeals position. He did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Judge Jim Troupis, Dane County Circuit Court
Troupis was appointed to the Dane County Circuit court by Walker last year, and has already said he does not plan to run for reelection when his term expires in August. Troupis is a longtime Madison attorney who worked with Republican legislators on redrawing the state's legislative district maps in 2010. Those maps are now being contested in federal court. He also represented Prosser during the justice's campaign recount in 2011. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. WisPolitics has reported that Troupis will apply. He did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Judge Randy Koschnick, Jefferson County Circuit Court
Koschnick ran unsuccessfully to unseat Justice Shirley Abrahamson in 2009 and told the Cap Times he plans to apply for Prosser's seat. His daughter, Katie (Koschnick) Ignatowski, currently serves as Walker's chief legal counsel. Randy Koschnick said his daughter has told him she will remove herself from the selection process. Koschnick has been a judge in Wisconsin for 17 years, since 1999. He is a circuit court judge in Jefferson County and has served as the chief judge for District 3, which includes Jefferson, Waukesha and Ozaukee counties, for three years. Before becoming a judge, he served as a public defender in Jefferson County for 14 years. He was involved in the effort to require mandatory e-filing for courts statewide, which the state Supreme Court adopted in February. He earned his law degree from Hamline University School of Law in Minnesota.
Judge Thomas Hruz, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District III
Hruz was appointed by Walker to the Court of Appeals bench in 2014. He was a private practice attorney and partner at Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols, S.C. in Milwaukee and clerked for Prosser at the state Supreme Court. At the time of his appointment, Prosser praised Hruz and said he "will quickly be recognized as a great judge.” Hruz has written on voter fraud and is a former fellow at the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. Hruz earned his law degree from Marquette University School of Law. He did not return a call seeking comment.
Judge Mark Gundrum, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II
Gundrum, a former Republican state representative, was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2011. He served in the Assembly from 1999 until he was elected as a trial court judge in Waukesha County Circuit Court in 2010. He reportedly commuted with Walker to Madison during their time in the Legislature. He was featured on the Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" for his involvement in creating a criminal justice reform bill after Steven Avery was exonerated for a 1985 crime. WisPolitics has reported that Gundrum will apply. He did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Mike B. Brennan, Attorney, Gass Weber Mullins
Brennan is a private practice attorney at Gass Weber Mullins in Milwaukee and also serves as chairman to Walker's Judicial Advisory Selection Committee. Brennan served as a Milwaukee Circuit Court judge for nine years and was also a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. He has written extensively on legal issues, including a piece on personal responsibility for the Marquette University Law Review and judicial activism for The Federalist Society. He charges $400 for mediation services, and is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, a trade association for professional mediators. Brennan did not return a call for comment Thursday.