Voters out in Wisconsin head to the polls Tuesday to finalize the fate of the balance of the Supreme Court in what most are calling the most expensive court races in the state's history.
Neither of the current candidates attempting to claim the open seat currently identify with a political party. Conservative candidate and former Justice Dan Kelly, backed by most Republicans, is up against liberal candidate Judge Janet Protasiewicz, the preferred candidate of most Democrats, with the winner setting the ongoing ideological slant of the currently evenly divided court and a 10-year term for the court.
Reportedly, Protasiewicz holds the backing of donations coming from left-wing billionaire George Soros and Gov. J.B Pritzker (D-IL), while her opponent Kelly has been given support from a number of other groups such as Fair Courts America, a very conservative judicial organization. The total spending for this small race has flown past the $40 million mark, an insanely large amount when compared to historic levels when the average spending was only sitting around $10 million.
Hollywood has even been seen putting its influence behind Protasiewicz, with director Steven Speilberg giving up donations to her campaign and Mark Ruffalo, another actor,m calling on voters to "change the future of Wisconsin by electing Janet Protasiewicz & flipping the state supreme court."
Both candidates have made the claim the other is entirely unfit to hold the position, with Kelly highlighting the left-wing ties from Protasiewicz and claiming that she has a sentencing history that is entirely too soft on crime, while Protasiewicz linked Kelly to attempts to go against the 2020 presidential election in the Badger State.
"This election is about protecting the Rule of Law. My opponent has promised to force her personal politics on everyone in Wisconsin. She would choose the Rule of Janet over the Rule of Law. We cannot let her win," stated Kelly this past week.
While in a debate earlier this past year, Protasiewicz made the claim that she was "running against probably one of the most extreme partisan characters in the history of the state."
Though officially categorized as non-partisan, the candidates have close to polar opposite views, with Protasiewicz openly championing her stance in favor of abortion and Kelly getting the full-scale endorsements of a number of key pro-life groups in the state. Protasiewicz had an ad featuring a woman celebrating an abortion because the child could have ended up being born with disabilities.
This election could be the deciding factor when it comes to a case regarding Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban, which ended up becoming relevant after last summer's choice to overturn Roe v. Wade.