What’s typically an under-the-radar judicial election in Wisconsin has turned into a high-stakes and expensive fight for control of the state’s Supreme Court- with the future of abortion, voting rights, and redistricting in this battleground state hanging in the balance. Millions of dollars in advertising have been reserved ahead of Tuesday’s primary election the first of two rounds that will determine who replaces a retiring conservative justice, potentially shifting the balance on Wisconsin’s seven-judge high court.
While the election is non-partisan, each of the four contenders is squarely in the liberal or conservative camps. The seat is crucial to the balance of the court and the court is crucial to the balance of the state said Barry Burden, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of its elections research center. Early voting in the primary is already underway with the final day of balloting Tuesday.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court Could Also Play A Crucial Role In The 2024 Election
Wisconsin Supreme Court was a key location of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 loss, and the refusal of a conservative justice in the state supreme court to go along with an effort that year to toss out ballots in two heavily Democratic counties looms large in the rivalry between the two right-leaning candidates in this year’s race.
In a state where Democrats control the governor’s office and Republicans hold sway in the legislature, the Wisconsin Supreme Court could become the final arbiter on an array of consequential issues, including the fate of the state’s prohibition on abortion in nearly all cases. The executive director of the Wisconsin GOP Mark Jefferson described the contest as one with every significant issue of the last generation on the ballot.