N. Patrick Crooks, born on May 16, 1938 and died September 21, 2015, he was an associate justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, serving since 1996.
He was appointed as a county judge by a Democratic governor, later professing conservatism as a Supreme Court candidate in 1995 and 1996.
In his later years, N. Patrick gained notoriety as a perceived judicial moderate and swing vote on a court otherwise divided into two ideological blocs.
N. Patrick was a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin and graduated from the city’s Premontre High School in 1956.
He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College in 1960 and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1963.
From 1963 to 1966, N. Patrick served as an officer in the United States Army, assigned to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the Pentagon.
After his discharge from the Army, N. Patrick worked for eleven years as a private practice attorney in Green Bay and as an instructor of business law at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
In 1977, N. Patrick was appointed to the Brown County Court by Governor Martin J. Schreiber, a liberal Democrat.
N. Patrick was designated a circuit court judge in 1978, when Wisconsin’s county and circuit courts were merged.
Although appointed by Schreiber, N. Patrick ran for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1995 as a conservative; his campaign was directed by Scott Jensen, a prominent Republican legislator later convicted of criminal ethics violations.
He was defeated in the general election by Marathon County circuit judge Ann Walsh Bradley but was elected to the court in 1996, defeating appellate judge Ralph Adam Fine of Milwaukee after a contentious campaign.
Chief Justice Patience Roggensack announced the death of the 77-year-old N. Patrick Crooks on Monday.
Roggensack said N. Patrick Crooks died in his chambers.