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Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling could have major implications for abortion, election law

Wisconsin voters will split four candidates for the state Supreme Court into two on Tuesday in a crucial race to determine which party holds the majority in the state’s Supreme Court.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasevic is set to run for the general election, but it was too early to tell who her opponent would be, according to the Associated Press.

The state has had a Republican-leaning majority on the state Supreme Court for 14 years, but the departure of conservative Justice Patience Rogensack has created an opportunity for a liberal majority.

The transition of power could have a significant impact on access to abortion within the state, the drawing of congressional districts, and election-related legal battles leading up to the 2024 presidential election.

Tuesday’s primary ballot has two conservative candidates (former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly and Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorough) and two liberal candidates (Protasiewicz and Dane County Circuit). Court Judge Everett Mitchell) was elected. The primaries themselves are nonpartisan, with the top two vote-getters advancing to his April 4th general election.

State political operatives expected Protasiewicz to advance to the next round, having raised more campaign money than any of its competitors. Anthony Chergoski, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, says the rivalry between the two is a “toss-up,” but whether a Republican — either Kelly or Drow — will vote for her in April’s general election. You are expected to join.

Kelly served one term in the High Court after being appointed by former Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He lost his April 2020 re-election campaign.

At the heart of this race is abortionWisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban, which made no exceptions for rape or incest, is now being challenged by the state’s Democratic leadership and will appear in state court case files within the next few years. It is scheduled to be

Protasiewicz, who says “judicial independence is critically important”, made her position on abortion clear at the Candidate Forum earlier this month. One thing is no secret: women should be able to make that decision for themselves,” she said on the forum.

When asked what the worst court verdict came to mind, both she and Mitchell pointed to Dobbs’ verdict. Overthrowing the Roe v. Wade case.

Drew and Kelley have widely criticized liberal opposition for taking public positions on certain issues and pursued judicial power despite the influx of millions from outside groups. I have tried to convey my independence from politics in order to

“Nobody can buy my honesty,” Drew said on the forum. “Politics has no place in the courtroom, and we must not be robed legislators.”

The impact of race on access to abortion has been recognized by national groups on both sides of this topic. Her EMILY’s List, a large Democratic group that supports women candidates, endorsed her Protasiewicz earlier this month. This year’s flagship National Women’s March was held at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.

The Women Speak Out PAC, a partner of the Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America Group, endorsed Kelly last week, stating, “To raise awareness of the election and elect a proven judge who respects life. He said he would commit six numbers to the constitution and the rule of law.”

Chergosky hopes the race’s spending will set a national record for spending in a judicial race. Wisconsin’s neighbor, Illinois, currently holds the record for the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court election in which he spent more than $15 million.

According to AdImpact, at least $9.3 million has already been spent on the Wisconsin Supreme Court campaign, with groups on both sides of the aisle spending similar amounts.

“Fair Court America” is a super PAC promoted by Republican mega-donor Richard Euline, who spent $2.8 million to support Kelly. In the group’s ad, the narrator says “Madison liberals are trying to take over the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” praising Kelly’s vote as a judge to end the coronavirus lockdown. Uihlein’s cousin, her Lynde Uihlein, donated her $20,000 cap to her Protasiewicz.

Protasiewicz’s campaign spent approximately $2.3 million on advertising. “A Better Wisconsin Together” spent his $2.2 million backing his two liberal candidates and aired negative ads depicting Dorow as vulnerable to crime.

Gerrymandering and concerns about how Wisconsin’s legislature and state legislature are drawn are also likely factors in the campaign. Despite legal challenges from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, the state Supreme Court approved a “minimal change” map last year under a 4-to-3 conservative majority, allowing federal and state Accepted a very Republican-friendly map for lanes.

Wisconsin now has a Republican majority in both houses of the legislature, partly because the state has historically drawn the line in favor of the Republicans. Chergoski said the only hope for state Democrats to win a majority any time soon would be to “fundamentally reshape that coalition or, more realistically, win a liberal majority on the state Supreme Court and It is to use it to force legal restructuring.”

At a forum in February, Protasiewicz said he believed the Republican map was unfair and that the court’s previous ruling for a “less variable” map was “unfounded.”

The impact of this race will also be felt in the 2024 presidential election. Former President Donald Trump battled to overturn President Biden’s state victory in 2020, and state courts ruled after one conservative judge joined the liberals in winning a 4-3 majority. A ruling was passed against the effort.

Chergosky said state supreme courts frequently get involved in vote access cases before big elections, and he expects that to be the case in 2024.

“We know for sure that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will not hesitate to get involved in how people must mark their ballots, how they must turn in their ballots, and how election administration is conducted. I have done it.” “And it’s quite possible that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will be asked to hear the election results challenge in 2024.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wisconsin-supreme-court-race-abortion-election-laws/ Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling could have major implications for abortion, election law

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