By Amelia Royko Maurer
Over the next two years, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will make decisions that deeply impact all of our lives. Abortion rights, voting rights and safe drinking water are all on the table. No matter who we are or where we live, our lives will change. We can ensure a positive change by voting for Judge Everett Mitchell for Wisconsin Supreme Court on Feb. 21 and April 4.
Our justices must be well-qualified to navigate judicial decisions, but the path to the bench can be brutal. The candidate with the best chance of winning must have the right lived experience to handle a firestorm of bigotry and fear-mongering. Judge Mitchell has known such adversity all of his life. Confident, steady and unwavering, he has prevailed against every storm in his way.
In addition to his professional experience as a prosecutor and judge, Mitchell brings life experience that none on the Supreme Court have ever had. He is the missing member who has excelled professionally but also personally. As voters, we rarely consider the lived experiences of our judges. We expect them to believe in justice, to treat everyone who comes into their courtroom fairly and apply the law without prejudice. Judge Mitchell is all of those things because he has overcome real struggles.
As a young person, Judge Mitchell endured homelessness and poverty. He worked his way through significant adversity to earn his masters, law degree and eventually a judgeship. Such experience should give a voter confidence that Judge Mitchell is most likely to treat all who enter the courtroom fairly, no matter their credentials or background.
Prior to becoming a circuit court judge, Mitchell authored and implemented a program to ensure the formerly incarcerated had homes, health care and employment so they could become stable, productive members of society. After his election to the bench in 2016, Judge Mitchell led the initiative to take restraints off of children in our state’s courtrooms.
Judge Mitchell is impartial and fair and interprets and applies the law accurately to the facts of the case, but he also makes the time and effort to create a culture of fairness and dignity for everyone who enters his courtroom.
We have the opportunity to move confidently through the storm, make history and give Wisconsin its first elected Black Supreme Court justice. We know that such action is long overdue, but we also know this election is about far more than making history; it’s about getting the best, most impartial jurist on the highest court in our state.
We can do this. We must do this! On Feb. 21 and April 4, vote Judge Everett Mitchell for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Amelia Royko Maurer is a home educator and co-founder of an ad hoc human rights advocacy group composed of advocates of all professions including teachers, policy makers, city workers, attorneys, scientists, retired police officers and business owners