Wisconsinites are at a crossroads. The outcome of the spring election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court will determine whether the rule of law will prevail in the state, or not.
Voting for judicial candidate Janet Protasiewicz will result in the installation of a liberal-backed activist judge to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Electing Daniel Kelly—a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who was appointed in 2016 by the then Governor Scott Walker to fill the vacancy created by Justice David Prosser’s retirement—will ensure that a judicial conservative occupy the open seat on the state’s highest court. The control of the court hangs in balance.
As a law-abiding, freedom-loving American who calls Wisconsin home, I care deeply about the integrity of the state’s Supreme Court. If the liberal-backed judicial candidate wins the spring election, the fairness of the court will be diminished.
Conservative justice Pat Roggensack announced that she will not seek re-election. Four candidates—Milwaukee County judge Janet Protasiewicz, Waukesha County judge Jennifer Dorow, former Supreme Court justice Daniel Kelly, and Dane County judge Everett Mitchell ran for the open seat. After the primary election, Judge Porotasiewicz and former justice Daniel Kelly advanced to the spring election.
This April, the voters of Wisconsin will decide the future of the state as they get ready to cast their ballots in the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Currently, the court has a 4-3 conservative majority, with Justice Brian Hagedorn considered to be a swing vote.
Democrats continue to complain about the legislative maps in Wisconsin, claiming that the maps are gerrymandered. Their complaint stems from the fact that Republicans hold majorities in both state senate and state assembly in Wisconsin.
However, the liberals’ complaint has no factual basis. In fact, an analysis of election data shows that in the 2020 general election, the combined total votes for all Republican congressional candidates in Wisconsin exceeded the total votes for all Democratic congressional candidates in the state by over 94,000. In the 2022 midterm election, that difference rose to over 386,000, giving Republicans an even larger margin. How then, can the Democrats complain that the state’s electoral maps are skewed in favor of Republicans when statewide vote totals show that the GOP does in fact rightfully hold majority?
The Supreme Court must be free from political influence. Justices must be impartial and unbiased. One way to evaluate the neutrality of a judicial candidate is by examining the person’s statements prior to the election.
Judge Janet Protasiewicz openly displayed her political bias when she said that she believes Wisconsin’s legislative maps are gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. For a judicial candidate to conclude that the maps are gerrymandered, when she has not even had a chance to sit on the Supreme Court and hear a legal challenge to the maps, is preposterous.
The current map holds the key to electoral fairness in Wisconsin, and hence it is the number one target of liberals. If liberal-backed Janet Protasiewicz takes control of the Supreme Court, Wisconsinites might see the legislative maps redrawn to favor the Democrats, which would be an actual act of gerrymandering.
Democrats want to undo the institution of fair elections by getting rid of voter ID law in Wisconsin. In fact, a lawyer has already pledged to file a lawsuit, if the liberal candidate wins the race and gets a seat on the state’s highest court.
Voting is not just a right, it is also a responsibility. Citizens have the right to vote, and they must also ensure that they follow the requirements, such as having an ID, to follow a smooth voting process. Abolishing the voter ID requirement would open the door to election irregularities and diminish voting rights of American citizens in Wisconsin. It would also erode people’s faith in elections and hurt our constitutional republic.
The court is a coequal branch of government, and often helps keep executive power in check. For example, it was the Wisconsin Supreme Court that struck down Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ mask mandate, in a 4-3 ruling. The court ruled that the governor exceeded his legal authority by issuing the order. Under a liberal-majority court, the outcome of the judicial decision could have been different, and the burden of statewide mask mandate could have been protracted.
The list of rights that would be at risk of being stripped away, should Janet Protasiewicz win the spring election, would likely include concealed carry law. While Republicans in Wisconsin have worked to protect the Second Amendment, a liberal majority on the state’s Supreme Court could mean that the constitutional right of concealed carry might be snatched away.
In recent years, both at the state and at the federal level, the courts have played a key role. While fair and impartial judges can ensure that the courts serve as a vital part of the system of checks and balances, judicial activists can upend the pillars of justice by acting as legislators on the bench.
Freedom is at stake, this spring. If constitutional conservative Justice Daniel Kelly wins the Supreme Court race, there is hope for preserving our rights and freedoms in Wisconsin. If Judge Janet Protasiewicz wins, Wisconsinites would face insurmountable loss because the state’s current legislative maps, constitutional rights, and freedom would be on the chopping block.