'A big deal': Wisconsin’s upcoming Supreme Court race could 'determine the fate' of the state

'A big deal': Wisconsin’s upcoming Supreme Court race could 'determine the fate' of the state
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An upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court race in April could determine the future of politics in the swing state, Politico reports.

Following conservative Justice Patience Roggensack's stepping down, her available seat leaves room for the court to not only tip to majority Democrat for the next two years, but also determine the future for important issues like abortion rights, voting rights and redistricting.

The Court will likely hear a case that challenges Wisconsin’s abortion ban “in the near future”, according to Politico. To make matters more complicated for the court, Republican Justice Brian Hagedorn has been known to side with the liberal justices on past cases.

READ MORE: Energized Democrats in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin could face 'an unprecedented level of chaos' in 2023

Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Ben Wikler, has called the critical race “the most important election that nobody’s ever heard of.” He said, “It has implications that will affect national politics for years to come, really at every level of government.”

But first, before a new justice is determined, voters will cast their ballots in a February primary election. Potential candidates include former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, a Republican, Judge Jennifer Dorow of Waukesha County, who became known for how she handled the 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade attack, also a Republican and Democratic Judges Everett Mitchell of Dane County and Janet Protasiewicz of Milwaukee County.

Because the race is so crucial to the future of some of the most important social issues today, many advocacy groups, both Republican and Democrat leaning, are expected to spend millions of dollars on ads for their preferred candidate.

Conservative group Fair Courts America, which is financially supported by businessman and billionaire Richard Uihlein, has pledged “millions of dollars” to Judge Kelly’s campaign. And Stephen Billy, the Vice President of State Affairs at the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, confirmed the group will also contribute to the race “to make sure that Wisconsin doesn’t end up with a fabricated right to abortion decided by activist judges.”

READ MORE:'The quiet part out loud': Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial nominee makes extreme promise to supporters if he wins

On the other side of the political aisle, Planned Parenthood is planning to drop “six figures” on the race, in addition to coordinating voter education campaigns.

Aside from partisan groups and individuals, there are also those who are choosing to remain "neutral," such as Wisconsin’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers. Although he hasn't stated his partisan position, he called the race “huge.” He said, “The Supreme Court has leaned conservative on almost all of the issues. So yes, this is a big deal.”

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is also staying neutral in the primary, but is in the process of ramping up their political efforts. Chair of the organization, former attorney general Eric Holder, has plans to travel to Wisconsin for the general election, according to Politico.

As the race quickly approaches, the state’s Republican Party is paying close attention to Democrats.

READ MORE: Anti-abortion Republicans have 'learned nothing' from their midterms disappointments: columnist

Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party said, “It is becoming clear the Democrats want to use the Supreme Court as a vehicle to circumvent legislators who actually make policy decisions.” He continued, “If the liberals pick up another seat, they will have a rock-solid majority that never deviates from liberal activism.”

Gracie Skogman, with anti-abortion organization Wisconsin Right to Life, said when it comes to ensuring their base is ready for the race, “there’s a long way to go.”

She asserted, “The unfortunate news is the majority of voters that we have interacted with are not aware of the stakes of the election, the candidates who are on the ballot, the views of the candidate, or the tie between our current pro-life statutes and the results of the election.”

READ MORE:How abortion rights and redistricting are firing up state supreme court races in 2022

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