(Milwaukee, WI December 20, 2020) Sheriff Earnell R. Lucas issued the following statement on the passing of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Justice Abrahamson was a leader and trailblazer. As the child of immigrants, she grew up believing in the power of pursuing any dream she set her mind to and going out and achieving it. Justice Abrahamson finished first in her graduating law school class, at a school in which she was often the only woman. She was the first woman hired at the law firm she joined out of law school. And years later, she would be tapped by Governor Patrick Lucey as the first woman to serve on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Justice Abrahamson challenged gender equity barriers early in her career, first as a young lawyer helping to break a male-only covenant at a private club and later from the bench where she lit a pathway for young men and women to pursue truth, justice and equality for all. Justice Abrahamson was a towering intellect and prolific writer who earned the admiration and respect of her fellow justices both at the Federal and state levels, including the late United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who said, ‘Justice Abrahamson ranks with the very best, the brightest and most caring, the least self-regarding. She never forgets that law exists to serve all the people composing society, not just those in privileged positions.’ Justice Abrahamson spoke on many occasions to criminal justice and law enforcement officials in Milwaukee where her wit and good sense of humor were always on full display. Justice Abrahamson leaves a legacy of determination, hard work and integrity that will surely be missed. I send my deepest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones and all who knew and respected this genteel lady of the bench.”


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