Scott Walker recall petition shows name of Dane County judge overseeing challenge to Act 10

Wisconsin judge Jacob Frost, who was appointed to the Dane County Circuit Court in 2020 by Democratic Governor Tony Evers, is set to rule on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Walker-era Act 10 law. His name and an address associated with him appear on a 2011 petition to recall former Republican Governor Scott Walker, who had designed Act 10. Conservative radio host Dan O’Donnell of WISN-AM first reported Frost’s signature on the petition.

When contacted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Frost said he would issue a ruling in the coming weeks on the motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Reached by cell phone, his wife, Nichole Frost, suggested contacting his office to get in touch with him about the signature on the Walker recall petition.

Act 10, a controversial law that eliminated collective bargaining abilities for most public workers, sparked massive protests and reshaped Wisconsin’s political climate for years. The lawsuit argues that the law violates equal protection guarantees in the state Constitution by dividing public employees into two classes: “general” and “public safety” employees.

Democratic Governor Evers said he did not think Frost’s signature on the Walker recall petition justified a recusal. In 2012, former Dane County judge David Flanagan drew criticism for not disclosing he had signed the Walker recall petition while overseeing a case involving the state’s voter ID law signed by Walker.

In the 2023 race for Wisconsin Supreme Court, Justice Janet Protasiewicz said she would consider stepping away from cases involving the polarizing law because she signed the petition to recall Walker and participated in protests against the law.

State and federal campaign finance records show that Frost has donated to Democratic and liberal candidates, including $500 to Protasiewicz in March 2023 and two donations totaling $110 to the state Democratic Party.