The most important election in America in 2023 approaches, and even many politically involved citizens likely don’t realize the weighty national implications.
On April 4th, citizens of Wisconsin will decide between two starkly different candidates for a ten year term on the state’s Supreme Court, with profound ramifications for policies within the Badger State and for federal elections into 2024 and beyond.
Just how important is Wisconsin in national elections?
Well, in a state of almost 6 million residents, each of the last two presidential elections was decided by fewer than 30,000 votes. Going back thirty years, except for Barack Obama, no presidential candidate has secured 50% of the vote in this independently-minded swing state. Talk about an electoral battleground!
Regarding the bitterly fought 2020 presidential race in Wisconsin, the state’s high court recently ruled that the governor’s unilateral widespread use of unauthorized drop boxes in the Trump-Biden contest was illegal. Specifically, Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote for the majority decision: “Only the legislature may permit absentee voting via ballot drop boxes.” The court further explained that “ballot drop boxes appear nowhere in the detailed statutory system for absentee voting.”
But the point of this upcoming Wisconsin court election is not to re-litigate the issues of 2020. Rather, this April vote presents a new referendum. Will Wisconsin voters safeguard their democratic prerogatives to determine policy via the political process? Or, will a small cadre of judicial activists be allowed to function as an effective state monarchy, wielding unprecedented power from the bench?
The liberal candidate, Janet Protasiewicz, makes no secret of her clear plans to shift the balance in the state capital of Madison and change the current split 4-3 conservative court into an aggressive partisan weapon for a leftist agenda that supplants populist rights. For example, regarding elections, Protasiewicz has already declared the present Wisconsin congressional districts as “absolutely, positively rigged…they do not reflect the people in this state.”
By Steve Cortes