Liberals take over Wisconsin Supreme Court — with major implications for abortion

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Kelly acknowledged his loss on Tuesday evening, but savaged the now-justice elect in his concession speech. “I wish in circumstances like this, I would be able to concede to a worthy opponent, but I do not have a worthy opponent,” he said, calling Protasiewicz’ campaign “beneath contempt” that launched “rancid slanders.” He said she would damage the integrity of the court.

Protasiewicz struck a more optimistic tone. “It means that our democracy will always prevail,” she said at her victory night party. “Too many have tried to overturn the will of the people. Today’s result shows that Wisconsinites believe in democracy and the democratic process.”

The race was the most expensive state judicial race in American history. As of late last week, over $45 million has been spent on the contest, according to

That is roughly three times the previous record.

The election will have wide-sweeping effects on the state, including, in the nearest-term, access to abortion in Wisconsin. The state has a 1840s law on the books that bans abortion in nearly all instances in the state. State Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, has brought a lawsuit challenging that law in state court that is widely expected to eventually land in front of the state Supreme Court.

But in the interim, abortion providers have stopped performing the procedure in the state.

That was an animating factor for Protasiewicz’s campaign, whose advertising regularly spoke about abortion rights. On the trail, she has repeatedly said “my personal value is that a woman has a right to choose,” while stressing that she is merely speaking about her values and not prejudging any particular court case.

The race court could have a significant impact on election laws in the state, which has regularly ruled on contentious election issues since the 2020 election.

Perhaps most notably, the state Supreme Court turned away then-President Donald Trump’s attempts to throw out the 2020 election results in the state.

Its 4-to-3 vote came only after Justice Brian Hagedorn, a conservative who sometimes served as a swing vote, joined the liberal bloc to reject the case.

Protasiewicz’s win also makes Democrats much more likely to bring challenges to the state’s congressional and legislative lines.

Republicans have near-supermajorities in both legislative chambers and a 6-2 split of the congressional delegation in a state that routinely votes close to 50-50 on a statewide level.

Similarly to her comments about values on abortion, Protasiewicz has said that it is clear the maps in the state are unfair.“

Wisconsin has probably the most gerrymandered maps in the entire country,” she said in an interview with POLITICO in February. “I anticipate that it’s possible that some type of litigation in regard to fair maps could come before the Supreme Court.”

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( With inputs from : )

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