Democrat Janet Protasiewicz wins Wisconsin Supreme Court election – One America News Network

MADISON, WISCONSIN – MARCH 18: Judge Janet Protasiewicz onstage during the live taping of “Pod Save America,” hosted by WisDems at the Barrymore Theater on March 18, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for WisDems)

OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 6:03 PM – Wednesday, April 5, 2023

In what may be the most consequential election of the year, with abortion access, election laws, and more on the line in the crucial swing state of Wisconsin, Democrat Janet Protasiewicz won the Supreme Court election. This will shift majority control in favor of the left.

In a battle that broke expenditure records for state judicial elections, Milwaukee County circuit court Judge Protasiewicz defeated Republican Daniel Kelly, a former state Supreme Court justice.

Her triumph is anticipated to bring an end to a stretch of Republican dominance in a state that has been embroiled in political conflict for more than ten years.

Nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the election served as a crucial gauge to see whether (or how) the abortion debate was influencing voters. In the upcoming months, the state’s supreme court will decide whether or not to uphold Wisconsin’s 1849 statute, which forbids abortion in most situations.

Currently, the court is 4-3 in favor of the conservatives. However, that majority was in jeopardy following the resignation of conservative Justice Patience Roggensack.

Wisconsin is one of 14 states that directly elects Supreme Court justices, giving the winner a 10-year term. Judge elections there are nominally bipartisan, but political parties have little doubt about which candidate they support.

According to the Brennan Center, this year’s race expenses had reached $28.8 million as of March 29th, a record for state litigation spending, surpassing the $15.4 million in 2004 in Illinois.

At Protasiewicz’s victory party on Tuesday night, she told her fans that her triumph “has obviously reignited hope in so many of us.”

“Our state is taking a step forward to a better and brighter future, where our rights and freedoms will be protected,” she said.

At his election night speech, Daniel Kelly admitted defeat, telling his followers that “this didn’t turn out the way we were looking for.”

However, he also criticized Protasiewicz, saying, “I wish that in a circumstance like this, I would be able to concede to a worthy opponent. But I do not have a worthy opponent to which I can concede.”

Democrats viewed the election as a chance to end Republican dominance in Wisconsin.

This started with Governor Scott Walker’s 2010 election and was followed by the passage of union-busting laws and the drawing of state legislative districts to effectively ensure GOP majorities. These were approved by a state Supreme Court, where conservatives have held a majority since 2008.

In 2018, Walker was defeated by Democratic Governor Tony Evers in his campaign for a third term. But, Evers is constrained by the Republican-led legislature, and the conservative Supreme Court has broken ranks on issues like its 2022 decision to use Republican-drawn legislative maps rather than Evers’ maps during the periodic redistricting process.

The choice solidified the Republican party’s commanding advantage in the state legislature.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is well-positioned to play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of any legal disputes that may arise during the 2024 election.

Last year, the court declared that no one may personally return a ballot on behalf of another voter, banning the usage of the majority of ballot drop boxes.

The 1849 Wisconsin legislation, which outlaws abortion in most situations, is the key issue most likely to reach the Supreme Court first, and possibly as early as fall.

Large sums of money were invested in the race by organizations on both sides of the abortion debate in an effort to turn out voters on Tuesday.

Some Republican commentators called out the tactics of the Democrats, specifically by a group called “Wisconsin Takes Action.” Wisconsin Takes Action offered $250 to voters to sway their friends to vote for Democrat Janet Protasiewicz through an app called “Empower”.

“Wisconsin Takes Action set up Empower to attract residents to the polls, vote for Janet Protasiewicz for Supreme Court Judge and reward them with gift cards for taking action. Downloading the app pays voters $30. Providing 75 names with phone numbers or emails in the app pays $60. Each time users reach out to their friends to early vote, make a plan to vote, or make contact on Election Day, they will get paid in gift cards on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays,” tweeted Conservative commentator @BehizyTweets.

Protasiewicz stated in a debate last month that she was “making no promises” about her judicial philosophy. However, she did mention that she personally supports abortion rights and that pro-abortion rights organizations have endorsed her.

She also cited Wisconsin Right to Life, a group that opposes abortion rights, as endorsers of Kelly.

“If my opponent is elected, I can tell you with 100% certainty, that 1849 abortion ban will stay on the books. I can tell you that,” Protasiewicz maintained.

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Brooke Mallory
Author: Brooke Mallory

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