January 25, 2023

The NYT focuses on the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

I'm reading "2023’s Biggest, Most Unusual Race Centers on Abortion and Democracy/The election for a swing seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has huge policy stakes for the battleground state. Cash is pouring in, and some of the candidates have shed any pretense of judicial neutrality" by Reid J. Epstein.
The seat is nonpartisan in name only, with officials from both parties lining up behind chosen candidates. Indeed, the clash for the court is striking because of how nakedly political it is. ...
Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal county judge from a Milwaukee suburb, is leading the charge on both fund-raising and the new approach to judicial campaigning, shedding the pretense that she does not hold firm positions on the hottest-button issues. She turned heads this month at a candidate forum when she declared the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps “rigged.” 
In an interview last week, Judge Protasiewicz argued that abortion should be “a woman’s right to choose”; said that Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011 law effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public employees was unconstitutional; and predicted that, if she won, the court would take up a case seeking to invalidate the Republican-drawn state legislative and congressional maps put in place last year. 
“Obviously, if we have a four-to-three majority, it is highly likely that we would be revisiting the maps,” she said. 
The other liberal candidate, Judge Everett Mitchell of Dane County, which includes Madison, the state capital, said in an interview that “the map lines are not fair.” Both candidates have also expressed full-throated support for the right to an abortion....

52 comments:

Amadeus 48 said...

Returning abortion to the states is not working out the way right-to-life folks thought it would.

Be careful what you wish for.

Mark said...

Funny, the article doesn't mention that the two Conservatives are both graduates of Regency U Law School, know for their view of law through a Christian lens.

Doubt that is the filter Ann taught.

RideSpaceMountain said...

The day is coming - if not already here - where every single godamn election is going to count. Count in an outsized way far in excess to the fundamental definition of the post involved. There's going to be multi-million dollar contests for fucking dog catcher.

There is a war on, but they're just spending dollars on ballots right now because we don't have to switch to bullets yet. You think shit is surreal? Buckle up.

Ice Nine said...

Democrats have overtly politicized every other one of our revered nonpartisan American institutions, there's no reason that we should be surprised that they are now doing it to the courts. The un-American scum.

gilbar said...

candidates have shed any pretense of judicial neutrality

i Don't Understand? Wouldn't they Have To HAVE a pretense of judicial neutrality, in order to shed it?

gilbar said...

Amadeus 48 said...
Returning abortion to the states is not working out the way right-to-life folks thought it would.

How do you figure that? Do you see Any sign, that these liberals will win?

rhhardin said...

I doubt right=-to-life has a majority even on the right.

Gusty Winds said...

She turned heads this month at a candidate forum when she declared the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps “rigged.”

This is such bullshit. You have few population centers in WI, and much of the land area is rural. What are they going to do? Draw their own gerrymandered maps? Make a new district with north Madison and run it up I-39 to just south of Wausau?

The only one hiding her beliefs is Jennifer Dorrow, the Christmas Parade judge. She could be another Hagedorn.

At least liberal candidates have dropped the make believe that Judges are impartial. So sick of everyone pretending that remotely true.

MadisonMan said...

Battleground State seems very violent to me. Why is the NYTimes advocating violence?

rcocean said...

I love the Winsconsin way of selecting state judges. Other states have the absurd Governor selects, legislature approves, and they're on the Court for life system. A reciepe for disaster.

There needs to be check on Judicial power, an uncontrolled legal elite. Winsconsin seems to have it. As for the Leftist judges being open about their opinions, that's even better. Since the Judges just rule based on their politics, lets know what their politics BEFORE they're put on the bench.

Its too bad, we don't have the same system for the SCOTUS. Instead we have this absurd game where the Republican presidents claim to give us "Scalia Like Judges" and they turn out to be gods-knows-what, and the Democrats claim to give us "Sensible moderates" when they turn out to be hard core leftists who vote in lockstep on every major case.

Dave Begley said...

We don't elect our judges in Nebraska. The Governor appoints judges from a slate of people who are approved by a committee of lawyers and lay people. Recently a state senator applied for a judge slot and the committee didn't approve him. Not qualified. The judges then stand for retention in elections. The Bar sends out surveys that grade the judges.

There is no corrupt campaign cash floating around the Nebraska judiciary.

Every state should follow the Nebraska way.

Krumhorn said...

Returning abortion to the states is not working out the way right-to-life folks thought it would.

It's working out just fine. The matter has been returned to the state legislatures where it was before Roe. If state courts get involved on some basis, the voters will ultimately decide either through constitutional amendments or through judge elections. That's how it should be.

- Krumhorn

Bob Boyd said...

2023’s Biggest, Most Unusual Race...

At first I thought this post was going to be about some freakishly tall, strange looking, oppressed minority in Wisconsin that I had never heard of before.

Leland said...

Every election has always counted. If you didn’t know this, then the actions of schools and their boards that has come to light in to past 2 years should have been the wake-up call. Democrats would rather not politicize the races and instead just win them in quiet as they did for many years.

Sebastian said...

"some of the candidates have shed any pretense of judicial neutrality"

For progs it has always been a pretense, so should we give them props for honesty?

Now let's also shed the pretense that we enjoy the "rule of law."

Mike Petrik said...

@Amadeus 48 -- I disagree. It is turning out exactly like we expected and as it should. People make their arguments, and elections decide. There was always the risk that some state courts would respond to appropriate SCOTUS restraint by themselves politically overreaching, but that can't excuse proper SCOTUS decision-making.

I don't know enough about Wisconsin constitutional law to know whether the claim that abortion is a state constitutional right is grounded in a serious legal argument or instead simply a policy preference. But I'm skeptical because all these years the only arguments I've ever heard in favor of a constitutional right to abortion have been exactly the same arguments one would assert to voters or legislators seeking a simple legislative right. Serious constitutional reasoning seems irrelevant to almost all abortion advocates.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Really, states should have rules about out-of-state donors and elections, just like the nation has a rule about foreign nationals.

n.n said...

The wicked solution and democratic/dictatorial duality.

They're right. The 1-2 compromise is as likely to mitigate the progress of human rites as the 3/5 compromise mitigated the progress of slavery and diversity.

n.n said...

The theocracy demands that the clinics remain open to conduct human rites for social, redistributive, clinical, political, criminal, and fair weather progress.

Calypso Facto said...

"She turned heads this month at a candidate forum when she declared the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps “rigged.” In an interview last week, Judge Protasiewicz argued that abortion should be “a woman’s right to choose”"

Which, in keeping with judicial norms, would mean she'd have to recuse herself from any cases related to these issues that came before her, should she win. What do you think the chances she would do the right thing are?

n.n said...

Democrats have overtly politicized

Not only politicized, but weaponized as in redistributive change, as in DIE, as in "heroic" action, as in religious establishment, as in cargo cult science, as in political congruence, as in mandate/force, etc.

roger said...

Does Wisconsin have a Judiciary confirmation process similar to that in washington?

If so can we anticipate another Brett Kavanaugh circus?

tim in vermont said...

"leading the charge on both fund-raising.."

Obviously the party of billionaires is going to lavishly fund races.

AtmoGuy said...

If Judge Protasiewicz is getting substantial funding from groups that want to see Act 10 overturned, and she is already stating that she thinks it is unconstitutional, shouldn't she be required to recuse herself under the logic of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.?

mccullough said...

Milwaukee is another violent shithole. So vote for the Privileged Progressive White Woman to keep it that way.

hawkeyedjb said...

More people prefer "unlimited abortion" to "no abortion." Democrats have been successful in portraying any restrictions as "no abortion." It's what helped wipe out Republicans in Arizona.

Jersey Fled said...

Returning abortion to the states is not working out the way right-to-life folks thought it would.

In what way, exactly?

Dave Begley said...

Judge Mitchell is a graduate of Morehouse College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School where he teaches courses on “Race, Racism and the Law” as well as the “Foundational Principles of the Juvenile Justice System.”

Wince said...

Keep talking.

Mr Wibble said...

Overturning Roe v Wade has turned out exactly like many in the prolife movement expected: the fight is now at the state level. But, that's where it should be, and it's better for politics as a whole if abortion isn't a national issue.

Michael K said...

rhhardin said...

I doubt right=-to-life has a majority even on the right.


Abortion should have limits, like the 15 week law that started this. The absolute ban folks are no more realistic than the abortion at birth nuts. It may take a while.

Maynard said...

Democrats have been successful in portraying any restrictions as "no abortion." It's what helped wipe out Republicans in Arizona.

That was definitely a big factor in AZ as I suspect it will be in WI.

AZ had a 19th Century ban on abortion that was superseded by a 2022 law restricting after 15 weeks. However, the courts and the media made it seem that the gubernatorial election was all about losing abortion rights because of the 19th Century law.

The media is clearly the propaganda arm of the DNC, just as the FBI is the enforcement arm. Be careful Cheeseheads, Democracy is at stake, but not in the way that leftists project it.

Amadeus 48 said...

"How do you figure that? Do you see Any sign, that these liberals will win?"

Sorry. I was just coming off reading a post at Powerline about Minnesota, where the Dems control everything, and living through the last election in Michigan and Illinois, where the Dems won everything while pushing unlimited abortion rights.

Maybe WI will be different.

Inga said...

“The other liberal candidate, Judge Everett Mitchell of Dane County, which includes Madison, the state capital, said in an interview that “the map lines are not fair.””

An understatement. The gerrymandering in Wisconsin is outrageous and needs to be fixed, as are other important issues that a conservative majority hoisted upon Wisconsin residents. A liberal majority could overturn extremist laws that WI conservative leaders have embraced. I hope WI can follow Michigan one day and hold a Democratic majority.

Of course I understand most here will disagree.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Deirdre Mundy,

Really, states should have rules about out-of-state donors and elections, just like the nation has a rule about foreign nationals.

An idea so obvious and sensible that I'm surprised that it hasn't been mooted before. In-state matters are almost definitionally not to be decided by out-of-state funding. This would, of course, necessarily crimp the operations of both national parties.

There is the difficulty that Senate and House races do have impacts beyond State borders; I don't see any way around that. But within-State races, from governor on down, are another matter.

Original Mike said...

I sure hope the claim of unfair maps isn't based on the heinous "wasted votes" theory. The democrats and republicans do not own a 50% share of our votes.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

Does "Democracy" include voter ID?

My assumption is No.

Jim at said...

A liberal majority could overturn extremist laws that WI conservative leaders have embraced.

A Jill Stein voter thinks others are extreme.
That's rich.

RMc said...

There is no corrupt campaign cash floating around the Nebraska judiciary.

Nebraska also has one fewer corrupt legislative body than the other states do!

Jupiter said...

"Indeed, the clash for the court is striking because of how nakedly political it is. ..."

Unlike the NYT.

Gusty Winds said...

The voters in Madison, WI, all of Dane and Milwaukee counties are willing to let a liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court legislate from the bench. The reason this candidate is openly stating her bias is because she knows her voting base wants it.

In a way...good for her. She's a realist. She shouldn't be a judge, but at least she's being real. If liberals in Wisconsin choose to turn our once great state into Illinois and Minnesota there's probably nothing that can be done to stop it.

Thank God drinking heavily is widely accepted here as a normal activity.

n.n said...

the 15 week law that started this. The absolute ban folks are no more realistic than the abortion at birth nuts

Six weeks to legal state. Generally, elective abortion, human rites, clinical cannibalism, "burden" relief, carbon sequestration, etc. should be discouraged when performed for social, redistributive, clinical, political, criminal, and fair weather progress.

Demos-cracy is aborted in darkness. We need reasonable scalpel, vacuum, toxin, etc. control.

n.n said...

Does "Democracy" include voter ID?

What's a democratic/dictatorial duality with accountability? The deplorable auditability.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Of course I understand most here will disagree.

What you'll never understand apparently is that most of us disagree with a Judge who thinks it her duty to "take up" an issue she has prejudged and declared herself against. Whether the gerrymander was to your liking or not doesn't make it illegal. Her opinion might. We know you guys never listen to our arguments unless interpreted for you by friendly media, so we're confident this judge has not had this case argued in front of her, nor is she likely to listen when it is.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Original Mike,

I sure hope the claim of unfair maps isn't based on the heinous "wasted votes" theory. The democrats and republicans do not own a 50% share of our votes.

Oh, man, I do agree with you. You have a state with Madison and Milwaukee in it. These are Democratic strongholds, but they are only so large, and most of the state is outside city limits. Therefore, however you divvy the state up, you are bound to come up with some districts that are 90% D, and many more that are 55% R. This is just a function of where people of differing political views tend to settle.

The "wasted votes" advocates say that it's not fair that Democrats should be disadvantaged just because most of them live in a small fraction of a state. They would prefer, I gather, that Madison and Milwaukee residents shouldn't be artificially constrained to vote where they live. I wonder what their reaction would be were the rest of the state to have a say in Madison and Milwaukee elections.

Mr. T. said...

Ben Winkler's candidates were never ever "non-partisan."

Imagine letting democrats who enthusiasticlygave us child torture porn pedophile Brett Blomme for a judge give us their choice candidate on the WI Supreme ?court...

hombre said...

Killing babies by judicial fiat pursuant to a right that is neither legal nor natural is the order of the day for Wisconsin Dems.

The Declaration of Independence Kamala style, "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are ... Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Oops! Something's missing. Oh well, what goes in there is "abortion", n'est-ce pas?

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Judges in Oregon and Washington appear on the ballot during the fall elections. But, the Democrat governors have been rigging these election for decades. A sitting judge resigns before the end of his/her term and the governor appoints a successor. But, most of the time, the recently appointed judge runs unopposed because possible opponents are reluctant to run for fear of losing and then having to face that judge in court.

Judicial races should be a referendum on the judge: retain or reject. Then another election can be run to fill the seat with no fear of retaliation.

gilbar said...

Amadeus 48 said..
about Minnesota, where the Dems control everything, and living through the last election in Michigan and Illinois, where the Dems won everything..

Hmmm Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.. 'where the dems control everything' ..
And HOW is this different, from before Dobbs?

Dave Begley said...

Mike:

The Nebraska way is the best way. I can’t imagine appearing before any judge who has received campaign contributions from my lawyer adversary.

Michael K said...

Judge Everett Mitchell of Dane County, which includes Madison, the state capital, said in an interview that “the map lines are not fair.””

An understatement. The gerrymandering in Wisconsin is outrageous and needs to be fixed, as are other important issues that a conservative majority hoisted upon Wisconsin residents.


The resident dullard is upset that many voters disagree with her.

gadfly said...

Nothing much new and different here. The election of judges in Wisconsin has always happened without the designation of a political party. I moved into the Madison area to find Paul Soglin as mayor and he just wouldn't quit just like the minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit temperature in January 1977.

So WaPo needs to get their facts straight. Madison, Milwaukee, and all the Union-dominated cities vote Democrat and the outlying population is Republican.

What has changed are the huge campaign contributions sourced from out-of-state that candidates, even the judges, need to win.