The Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Matters to You
This pivotal battleground state might provide the most profound election of 2023...
The most important election in America in 2023 approaches, and even many politically involved citizens likely don’t realize the weighty national implications.
On April 4th, citizens of Wisconsin will decide between two starkly different candidates for a ten year term on the state’s Supreme Court, with profound ramifications for policies within the Badger State and for federal elections into 2024 and beyond.
Just how important is Wisconsin in national elections?
Well, in a state of almost 6 million residents, each of the last two presidential elections was decided by fewer than 30,000 votes. Going back thirty years, except for Barack Obama, no presidential candidate has secured 50% of the vote in this independently-minded swing state. Talk about an electoral battleground!
Regarding the bitterly fought 2020 presidential race in Wisconsin, the state’s high court recently ruled that the governor’s unilateral widespread use of unauthorized drop boxes in the Trump-Biden contest was illegal. Specifically, Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote for the majority decision: “Only the legislature may permit absentee voting via ballot drop boxes.” The court further explained that “ballot drop boxes appear nowhere in the detailed statutory system for absentee voting.”
But the point of this upcoming Wisconsin court election is not to re-litigate the issues of 2020. Rather, this April vote presents a new referendum. Will Wisconsin voters safeguard their democratic prerogatives to determine policy via the political process? Or, will a small cadre of judicial activists be allowed to function as an effective state monarchy, wielding unprecedented power from the bench?
The liberal candidate, Janet Protasiewicz, makes no secret of her clear plans to shift the balance in the state capital of Madison and change the current split 4-3 conservative court into an aggressive partisan weapon for a leftist agenda that supplants populist rights. For example, regarding elections, Protasiewicz has already declared the present Wisconsin congressional districts as “absolutely, positively rigged…they do not reflect the people in this state.”
Note the arrogance of this radical candidate, pontificating on her singular assessment and pre-promising to rule against the current map if she wins the election. The US Constitutional clearly delegates redistricting powers to the state legislatures – and yet Protasiewicz brazenly positions herself as sole arbiter of partisan political disputes that should be decided by voters at the ballot box. She also conveniently ignores clear judicial precedent. In each of the last two election cycles, the US Supreme Court refused to intervene on behalf of liberal litigants challenging the Wisconsin maps.
Instead, this dangerous and radical Milwaukee judge seeks to impose her own partisan will upon the whole of Wisconsin via judicial fiat. Given this total disregard for the proper role of a judge as an honest umpire, the personal prejudices of Protasiewicz should also alarm Wisconsinites.
For example, she maligns her opponent, former Justice Dan Kelly, for attending an evangelical Christian law school. She stated: “You have a university that’s not particularly very highly rated…I don’t know why someone would choose to go there unless you have views that really align with the views that they have.” Protasiewicz later doubled down on this aspersion. When Milwaukee TV asked about Kelly’s degree from Regent University, she remarked: “Does it raise red flags? Of course, it does.”
Even beyond her personal bias and her total disregard for judicial prudence, the dirty campaign waged so far by Protasiewicz should be disqualifying. In recent weeks, leftist activist groups employ unethical and even illegal tactics.
Specifically, Wisconsin radio station WISN blasted the headline “Liberal Group Running Massive Election Bribery Scheme in Supreme Court Race.” The article details how a murky leftist activist group named Wisconsin Takes Action offers to literally pay voters $250 and higher in gift cards. The catch? They must watch an online course and register the names and contact information of friends and relatives who are then barraged with liberal propaganda about the April 4th election and supporting Janet for Justice. Of course, such schemes run directly afoul of Wisconsin law which clearly outlaws such voter bribery.
In addition, Milwaukee Public Schools even intervene, turning over the names and information of high school seniors who turn 18 so that they, too, can be prodded to vote by liberal groups. This shady tactic violates both federal law as well as supposed MPS policy. Regardless, the pro Protasiewicz leftists scheme and maneuver.
Thankfully, Wisconsin citizens rally to a solid, ethical alternative in Daniel Kelly. He has established a significant body of work on the bench as a principled constitutionalist. Kelly is unashamedly a conservative, but not an activist from the bench like his radical opponent.
Instead, Kelly’s record displays the humility to recognize and respect the appropriate constraints on his judicial authority. In a recent PBS Wisconsin interview, Kelly observed that “if we ever get in a position of importing our personal preferences or our personal politics, that’s poison to the work of the court.”
That kind of philosophy will not only serve the good people of Wisconsin, but also all of America. That state figures to once again play a pivotal role in the 2024 presidential election. An objective high court will allow Wisconsin to conduct a fair and accurate election.
In addition, with a narrow GOP majority in the US House in Washington, the conservative movement cannot risk a radical activist court in Madison, Wisconsin that already telegraphs throwing out a valid district map. Using that map, the citizens of Wisconsin flipped a seat from blue to red in 2022 and sent a 6-2 delegation to Washington in favor of Republicans.
Off year elections matter, and this one more than most. Reject the radicalism of Janet Protasiewicz and affirm the principled conservatism of Daniel Kelly.
Nicely put. But there's a somewhat bigger problem looming. President Trump [for whom I have only the highest regard, btw] succeeded in putting two justices on the Supreme Court who continue to dodge all election fraud cases by classifying them as either stale or premature...or characterizing appellants as lacking standing....whether they be candidates, voters or state attorneys general.
In other words, we have a Supreme Court which takes the position there exists NO remedy for election fraud.