Megan Sanders (2014-15)

Attorney, Wisconsin Defense Initiative

While I was clerking for the Chief, the state constitution was amended to enable the justices to elect their chief. They day after the election, there was a vote, and the Chief was no longer the Chief (though naturally we still called her “Chief” and even answered the phones that way). She did not show even a hint of sadness or frustration in response to this unprecedented event. Instead she filed a lawsuit and said to whoever called her cell, “They gave me lemons and I’m making lemonade.” Her reaction that day was a good summation of her personality — she absolutely never shied away from a fight, but she absolutely never lost her cool.

As every clerk will tell you, she was also full of dry, off-the-cuff one-liners. I am very tidy and the Chief was not. One weekend she didn’t come in for some reason and I took the opportunity to clean and organize my (our) office. It looked amazing. On Monday morning the Chief was sitting at the second desk in my office typing away when I arrived, and I asked her if she could tell I’d cleaned. She answered (without looking away from her computer), “Yes, because I can’t find a thing.”

Her husband Seymour had a similar sense of humor. I once went to a speech with the two of them; Seymour drove, picking me up first and the Chief second. On the way to get the Chief he told me various hilarious stories, including that he once went to Japan for something like a year and when he returned, the food in the family fridge was the same – just a different color. I believe that!

Shirley and Seymour Abrahamson
Shirley and Seymour Abrahamson