It’s being called the biggest election of 2023. It’s already the most expensive race of its kind in the nation’s history. It’s impact and consequences will be felt for at least a decade and more likely for a generation or more. And it’s happening right now, right here in our backyard. It’s the election that will determine who will be the next justice on our state’s supreme court.
For years these types of races went pretty much unnoticed even in the state, let alone by people around the country. But in the last twenty years or so, interest in and involvement with supreme court races in our state has been increasing. The reason isn’t a secret. It’s because people are figuring out just how powerful the court is and how sweeping its decisions can be.
This race is particularly illustrative of that. What is at stake here is what has the eyes of the nation fixed once again on our state. Our current court leans conservative by a 4-3 margin. One of the conservatives, Pat Roggensack, is retiring, leaving an open seat. If a conservative wins, the court remains 4-3 conservative. If a liberal wins, the court flips to 4-3 liberal. It’s that possibility for a 180-degree flip that has people’s interest and their money.
Millions are being spent because people across the country who are paying attention and those with the proverbial dog in the fight know what flipping the court will mean. If the court flips to liberal, pretty much everything the liberals have been trying to get done here for years but have been thwarted because we have a conservative state legislature and for eight years had a conservative governor, will be able to be accomplished through the court. The list of potential issues that will be involved is impressive, to say the least: Act 10, legislative maps, abortion, parental rights, the LGBTQ+ agenda, religious freedom, school choice, and more. Both sides know this is the case; hence, the millions being poured into ads and other efforts to reach voters.
And speaking of the voters, we need accurate information to make an informed decision as we prepare to vote. Discerning if ads and claims on literature are telling the truth is beyond what the average voter can do and is willing to do. But there is information about candidates that can pretty easily be accessed and can help voters get some objective information to assist them in determining which candidate best reflects their own views and values. And that information is endorsements.
Take the two candidates running in this Wisconsin Supreme Court race—Janet Protasiewicz and Daniel Kelly. Protasiewicz’s website page on endorsements lists US Senator Tammy Baldwin and US Representative Mark Pocan (both from Wisconsin) as having endorsed her. Baldwin and Pocan are openly homosexual and are leaders in their respective houses on LGBTQ+ issues. Protasiewicz includes current Supreme Court justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet, both publicly recognized as liberal justices. Her website also shows that Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, along with NARAL and Emily’s List, both pro-abortion national organizations, have endorsed Protasiewicz, as has the Human Rights Campaign, which is the leading national group advocating or the LGBTQ+ agenda. Numerous other groups and individuals are noted as well.
Daniel Kelly’s endorsement page on his website notes that current Supreme Court justice Rebecca Bradley and Court of Appeals Judge Shelley Grogan have endorsed him. Both of these judges are publicly recognized as conservatives. Kelly has a long list of sheriffs who have endorsed him, as well as the following organizations: Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Action, and Wisconsin Right to Life. Former Governor Scott Walker and former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch have both been raising money for Daniel Kelly, which essentially constitutes their endorsement.
Individuals, especially high-profile individuals, and significant organizations do not endorse a candidate unless they are very confident that the candidate will uphold the individual’s or the organization’s positions and values when he or she is in office. Endorsements speak volumes about who a candidate really is. They can shed light on whether the rhetoric that flies around in the form of ads is true or not.
As voters, we assess the individuals and groups that endorse candidates. Endorsements help us make wise decisions and be good stewards of our vote, which is exactly what I encourage you to do and be, as we run through these final weeks of this high-profile, high-stakes, highly-watched race right in our own backyard.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
We Advocate, Educate, And Network To Preserve Wisconsin Family Values!