Fri. May 24th, 2024

Wisconsin Supreme Court justice to retire, putting liberals’ majority at stake next year

By 37ci3 Apr11,2024



Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced Thursday that she will step down after her term ends next spring, putting the liberal majority in the key state’s top seat in jeopardy.

The April 2025 election to replace Bradley promises to be an expensive and bitter contest, likely to feature the same important issues as abortion rights and redistricting. 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court Race ultimately giving the Liberals their first majority on the bench in 15 years.

Bradley, 73, said in a statement that he would not seek a fourth 10-year term and that it was a good time to bring “new perspectives to the court.”

“My decision was not easy at all. It is done after careful consideration. I know I can do the job and I can do it well. I know I can win re-election if I run, but it’s time to pass the torch,” wrote Bradley, who was technically elected to the nonpartisan court in 1995.

The election for Bradley’s seat comes two years after liberal Janet Protasiewicz defeated conservative Dan Kelly. the most expensive It is one of the most closely watched state Supreme Court races and 2023 elections in US history.

The race was largely defined by Protasiewicz’s support for abortion rights and opposition to the state’s heavy legislative maps — two issues that will be litigated. During the campaign, conservatives criticized Protasiewicz for taking public stances on divisive political issues. After his victory, some Republicans in the state threatened to impeach him.

Days after Protasiewicz was sworn in, the court heard the case of state legislative maps and months later. considered them unconstitutional. Newly drawn maps are a must to reduce the GOP’s majority in the Legislature this November.

Wisconsin Democrats on Thursday praised Bradley for his tenure, while warning of the stakes if the conservative majority takes it back — especially in 2022 after Roe v. On the abortion issue in the state after the fall of Wade. , the 175-year-old near-total ban has technically been reinstated.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler told reporters during a call: “There is no doubt that Wisconsin’s reproductive freedom and abortion bans will be a major issue not only this fall, but also in the Supreme Court race next spring.” “The far right is trying to hijack the Supreme Court to uphold the 1849 abortion ban.”

“Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s announcement this morning that she will not seek re-election next year is a reminder that the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority is just one bad election away from the far-right pro-abortion wing,” he said.

The race will have major political consequences on the battlefield.

Democrats in the state saw the new judicial majority as a major opportunity Break the GOP’s years-long stranglehold about power and politics. But another election in which the majority is again at risk could dash those hopes.

It could also exacerbate existing tensions in the court.

While the Wisconsin Supreme Court has been plagued by claims of angst, division and partisanship for years, the 2023 election — and the shift in the ideological balance on the bench that followed — brought those tensions back into public view.

Protasiewicz’s first few weeks on the court was broken a fair amount of news and tweets containing accusations of expletives, insults and partisanship by staff members under the control of the court’s new liberal majority.



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By 37ci3

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