By Mandela Barnes
It’s campaign season again in Wisconsin, and forgive me if you’ve heard this one before, but the stakes could not be higher in the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election.
In its next term, the state Supreme Court will likely have the final say on countless key issues, from the freedom to access safe and legal abortion care in Wisconsin to vital questions around voting rights and democracy.
It’s up to us whether the Supreme Court that ultimately decides these cases will have a majority committed to fairness and the rule of law or one dedicated to the far-right special interests. The winner of the April 4 Wisconsin Supreme Court election will determine the ideological balance of the court for years to come and will be the deciding vote on so many of these key issues.
The current court has a 4-3 conservative majority, and with a far-right justice retiring, the right wing has decided they want Dan Kelly to take her place. Kelly is a fervent right-wing activist who advised the Republican Party on legal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, which included an attempt to throw out 200,000 ballots right here in Milwaukee. We can’t be sure that our democracy will be safe if we let it fall into Kelly’s hands.
Not only that, but Kelly has been endorsed by all three radical anti-abortion groups in Wisconsin. As a challenge to our state’s archaic 1849 abortion ban makes its way to the high court, there’s little doubt that Kelly would vote to uphold the ban and keep abortion illegal in Wisconsin.
We cannot let Dan Kelly be the deciding vote on the state Supreme Court. And with our continued hard work to organize and get out the vote ahead of the April Spring Election, he won’t be.
We must come together now to elect Judge Janet Protasiewicz as our next Supreme Court Justice.
Judge Protasiewicz is a circuit court judge in Milwaukee who is committed to common sense and the rule of law. She will give litigants fair and impartial consideration with an openness to new arguments that the far-right majority has refused to consider for the past fifteen years.
I had the pleasure of campaigning with Judge Protasiewicz in 2013 during her election for circuit court. I witnessed first hand her commitment to fairness and our community. I know that she will continue to lead with her values on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
There is so much at stake on April 4. Together, we can protect voting rights, ensure women have access to abortion and reproductive health care, and demand equal justice for every Wisconsinite.
So from now until April 4 we have to do everything we can to make sure Judge Protasiewicz gets elected. We have to organize, talk to our communities, and most importantly vote.
We can not sit this one out. So Wisconsin, let’s get to work to elect Judge Protasiewicz to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.