Roggensack touted her experience in the race, noting she served seven years on the Court of Appeals and nearly 10 years on the Supreme Court. She had the backing of law enforcement and more than 100 judges, as well as the state Republican Party.What does this clear victory say about the recent struggles in Wisconsin — the protests and the "chokehold" incident? It's very hard to defeat an incumbent judge, but the liberals don't seem to have tried very hard this time. It looked like merely symbolic opposition — as if the race were more of an opportunity to criticize the court — an inherently discordant message as Fallone both criticized and portrayed himself as somehow able to swoop in and make everyone behave better. How would he do that?
Fallone, who had the support of Democrats and unions, contended the high court has grown dysfunctional and said Roggensack needed to be replaced to start to improve sour relationships on the court.
The answer — to my ear — seemed to be that the fix was to give the liberal side of the court a majority. That could never be openly articulated, however, because it's (officially) a nonpartisan election, and to put things politically is to antagonize voters who think judges should decide cases by a purely legal methodology, free from any political influence.
ADDED: It's very hard to defeat an incumbent judge, but:
An Ozaukee County judge [Tom Wolfgram] criticized by his spring election opponent for signing a petition to recall the governor has lost his seat on the bench after 19 years.And:
Dane County Judge Rebecca St. John, a Walker appointee, lost her re-election race, getting 47.4 percent of the vote against lawyer Rhonda Lanford’s 52.5 percent of the vote with 95 percent of the vote counted, according to unofficial results from the Dane County Clerk’s office.Note that both losing incumbents looked political, especially Wolfgram. As for St. John, you have to imagine how being a Walker appointee smells in Madison, Wisconsin.