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Wisconsin Supreme Court urged to adopt stricter rules

The entrance to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. (WLUK file photo/Andrew LaCombe)

MADISON (AP) -- A national watchdog group is urging the Wisconsin Supreme Court to adopt stricter rules to prevent judges from hearing cases involving significant donors to their campaigns.

The Campaign Legal Center said in a letter Wednesday the Wisconsin Supreme Court should adopt more stringent rules proposed by 54 retired Wisconsin judges. Those rules require judges to recuse themselves from cases involving parties who donations have reached certain thresholds.

But opponents say the rule change would impede free speech rights and that the court's current rule is sufficient.

Brian McGrath, a lawyer at the conservative Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty, said in a letter to the court his group plans to submit a petition in opposition of the idea.

The court had planned to take it up Thursday, but delayed it until April 20.

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