North Carolina isn't the only state in which the state Supreme Court is the highest political organ in state politics. Right now, the Wisconsin high Court is split with three Democrats and three Republicans. The seventh and swing seat will be determined by a runoff election on April 4. The candidates are Daniel Kelly, a former justice who was booted off the Court by voters in 2020, and Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal Milwaukee County judge. Theoretically, the election is nonpartisan, but everyone in Wisconsin knows that Kelly is a Republican and Protasiewicz is a Democrat.
Protasiewicz has outspent Kelly since the Feb. 21 primary $9.1 million to $0. However, outside groups are also spending money on the race. Conservative billionaire Richard Uihlein has spent $2.3 million for Kelly and the state's business lobby has spent $3.4 million for him. Outside groups have spent $2.0 million supporting Protasiewicz. It is already the most expensive judicial race in American history and we still have three weeks to go. Polls show Protasiewicz ahead. Still, it is far from a done deal for her.
If Protasiewicz wins, Democrats are planning to bring many important cases to the Court. These include invalidating the Republican gerrymander of the federal and state district maps and declaring the state's abortion law unconstitutional.
Absentee ballots for the election went out this week. In-person early voting will begin next Tuesday. (V)