Every aspect of modern society is now politicized. If it’s not a celebrity trying to score “woke points” during a concert, it’s the increasingly political tactics used to advertise almost any issue.
In Wisconsin, a lot of this is on display during the current State Supreme Court election. As one of the highest offices in the state, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has long prided itself on its impartiality. However, this is now being obscured by shiny TV ads and powerful slogans.
Whoever wins on April 4th will strongly impact Wisconsin’s rule of law. This is not a responsibility that should go to media personalities but to experienced judges and legal experts. If you want to make an informed choice, you’ll have to dig in a bit deeper.
Look at their Previous Rulings
According to Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct, all judges in the state should keep their biases and personal positions out of their rulings. For Supreme Court justices, this is even more important, as the decisions they make are then embedded in our judicial code.
As a result, many candidates will prefer to hide their personal opinions as they campaign, even if their past rulings clearly show whether they are willing to defend families and children.
Every once in a while, an absurd exception comes along. The latest example is Janet Protasiewicz: rather than express her commitment to neutrality, she has openly pandered to the most radical elements within the state.
Research their Donors
Elections need money, and whoever provides that money, usually ends up with a fair amount of political clout.
Election campaigns often handle large amounts of money to the point that numbers alone don’t tell the full story. For example, both major candidates have each totaled over $3 million in campaign donations.
The real red flag? When said amount comes from a single, highly-political donor, such as the Democrat Party, who recently provided $2.5 million to the Protasiewicz campaign. How big an influence does that buy?
The motivation of these donors is also worth examining. It’s one thing to have everyday families show support with a backyard sign. But when we see outside elites investing heavily in a state they don’t live in, we need to ask why. Could it be the nationwide repercussions of a local electoral reform? Or are they building a case for the next big “choose-your-own-gender” case?
Examine Their Attitude towards Public Scrutiny
Public office comes with public scrutiny – and when aiming for one of the most influential judicial positions in the country, it’s important to prove you can handle it.
This can be gathered from the little details: courtesy, an eagerness to accept difficult questions, and a sincere display of humility. Equally important is to respect the office you are running for, rather than sacrifice its reputation for the sake of political points.
Here, Justice Dan Kelly recently provided one of the strongest examples of fair-mindedness and transparency:
If you think as a candidate that you should be virtue signaling to attract the votes of a certain body of Wisconsinites, what you’re telling them is that you are not — you are not committed to the constitutional order, and you’re telling them that the politics should have a role in the court, even if you don’t intend to follow through on that… – PBS Wisconsin
This call for transparency and moderation speaks of a much more responsible judicial approach. And when push comes to shove, this is a legacy worth keeping. Protect the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Vote for Justice Daniel Kelly on April 4th.
Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action, Inc. Not authorized or paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee.