The future of the state's Supreme Court rests on the outcome of an election held Tuesday in Wisconsin. The winner will determine majority control of the court, which will be headed into a high-stakes 2024 presidential election.
In 2020, the Supreme Court came within one vote of overturning President Biden’s narrow win in Wisconsin. Both Democrats and Republicans expect another close race in 2024, with Democrats trying to flip control while Republicans have increased their hold on the state Legislature to near supermajority levels.
The two candidates running for this crucial seat are Democrat-backed Dan Kelly and Democratic-supported Janet Protasiewicz. Both candidates have expressed opposition to abortion rights in the past. Kelly was endorsed by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and has been portrayed as an “extreme partisan threat to democracy,” advising them on a plan to have fake GOP electors cast their ballots for the 2020 election.
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions have highlighted the importance of state courts as key players in major policy fights, particularly on issues such as abortion rights. This has driven intense interest in this particular court race in Wisconsin, where both sides recognize that they may not always get what they want from federal courts.
With its recent statements about not protecting particular rights or democratic institutions, it is clear that this final decision will fall squarely on state courts like those operating here in Wisconsin - making this a critical contest with significant implications for years or even decades ahead.