State News

Madison lawyer will run for Wisconsin Supreme Court

Tim Burns, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP and a longtime Democratic donor, will run for state supreme court.

Image By: Courtesy of Burns for Wisconsin

A Madison lawyer and longtime Democratic donor announced Monday he will run to take a conservative justice’s seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Tim Burns, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP, will run for the seat currently held by Michael Gableman, who was first elected in 2008.

Conservatives currently control the court 5-2, but Burns said he hopes to change that in the 2018 elections.

“I believe our country works best when everyone has a voice in governing, not just special interests and wealthy donors,” Burns said in a statement. “Special interests are now getting a free ride, and they are weakening our democracy to make sure their free ride continues. That has to stop.”

Gableman has not yet announced whether he will run for reelection. Although state supreme court races are technically nonpartisan, candidates generally run along ideological lines and Democratic voters are likely to rally around Burns.

Alec Zimmerman, a spokesperson for the state Republican party, criticized Burns, saying he would “cave to liberal special interests” if elected.

“Wisconsinites want a justice who will uphold the Constitution and support the rule of law, not an out-of-touch Madison trial attorney,” Zimmerman said in a statement.

Burns specializes in insurance law at Perkins Coie. His colleague, lawyer Joshua Kaul, announced last month that he will also run for statewide office in 2018, electing to challenge Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Burns is 53-years-old and lives in Middleton with his wife and children.

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