Wis. Supreme Court justice dies suddenly at Capitol office


Justice Patrick Crooks, a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, collapsed and died Monday afternoon in his office at the State Capitol in Madison.

Crooks, 77, had been in attendance at a hearing Monday morning, but left before the session was over and was found dead in his chambers around 2:30 Monday afternoon, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Crooks announced just last week that he would not seek re-election next year when his term was up. He has served on the Supreme Court for 20 years, and was a lower court judge for 19 years prior, according to his Supreme Court biography.

"Justice Crooks was an outstanding jurist, a thoughtful decision-maker and a colleague with a wonderful Irish sense of humor," said Chief Justice Patience Roggensack in a statement. "He was a good friend and colleague, and he will be greatly missed by all."

On the notoriously divisive Wisconsin Supreme Court, Crooks was in the conservative majority, UW-Madison law professor Howard Schweber noted, according to Channel 3000.

But "unlike some of the more recent generation of conservatives," Schweber said Crooks was quite willing to vote with liberal members on the seven-member court depending on the case.

"Whether one is a conservative or a liberal, we should mourn the loss of a jurist who was capable of having strong beliefs without being narrowly partisan," said Schweber, according to Channel 3000.

Three candidates had earlier announced their intention to run for Crooks' spot on the high court. A primary will be held in February and the general election is in April.

The Journal Sentinel notes Gov. Scott Walker has the option of appointing someone to fill the spot prior to the election, or he could leave it open until a successor is voted in.

Crooks is survived by his wife, Kris, and six children - five of whom are lawyers - as well as several grandchildren.

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.