Voters in Wisconsin made history on Tuesday night when they elected Janet Protasiewicz as the newest state Supreme Court justice, backed by the Democratic Party. This was a crucial swing seat, and it was the most expensive U.S. judicial race on record. This has highlighted how state courts have become a major focus for partisan politics. Justice Protasiewicz currently serves on a lower court, and her opponent was Daniel Kelly, a former Supreme Court justice who had lost in an earlier election to retain his seat and was representing the Republican Party. With 87% of the votes counted, Protasiewicz garnered 55%, leading her opponent, Kelly, by 10%.
The election of Justice Protasiewicz sets up exciting prospects, primarily the potential to challenge the state’s 1849 law banning most abortions and a possible redrawing of the current electoral maps. These decisions now rest in the hands of the newly appointed Supreme Court justice.
Janet Protasiewicz is a big name in the Wisconsin legal community due to her extensive experience in the courtroom. She has significant experience as a former criminal defense attorney, Director of the Milwaukee Public Defender’s Office and a Milwaukee Municipal court judge. Protasiewicz’s professional history of fighting for justice makes her an ideal candidate for the post.
Daniel Kelly is also well known in the state of Wisconsin and has ample experience in the legal field. He is a lawyer and was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2016. Kelly has also worked for the Republican Party since leaving the court. His credibility and experience being backed by the GOP enabled him to give a strong competition to his opponent.
This election ultimately sets the tone for many important future legal decisions in the state. It is clear that both Justice Protasiewicz and Mr. Kelly served well during the election process and have solidified their goals to fight for their respective beliefs.