Janet Protasiewicz wins, flipping Wisconsin Supreme Court to liberal majority

Janet Protasiewicz.
Janet Protasiewicz. AP Photo/Morry Gash

Janet Protasiewicz was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday, The Associated Press and NBC News project, defeating Daniel Kelly.

Seats on the Wisconsin Supreme Court are officially nonpartisan, but Protasiewicz, a liberal Milwaukee County judge, was backed by Democrats and abortion rights groups, while Kelly, a conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, was endorsed by Republicans and anti-abortion organizations. This was the most expensive judicial election in U.S. history, with the candidates, political parties, and outside organizations spending more than $40 million on the race.

Since 2008, Wisconsin's high court has been controlled by conservatives, and Protasiewicz's win gives the liberal faction a one-vote majority. In the next few years, the court will likely consider cases on Wisconsin's state abortion ban and heavily gerrymandered legislative maps drawn by Republicans.

Protasiewicz, who spoke about her support of abortion rights during the campaign, will serve a 10-year term, succeeding conservative Justice Patience Roggensack. She told The New York Times in an interview earlier Tuesday that she was open about her position on abortion because "rather than reading between the lines and having to do your sleuthing around like I think people have to do with [Kelly], I think I would rather just let people know what my values are. We'll see tonight if the electorate appreciates that candor or not."

You may also like

Most viewers didn't finish Amazon's Lord of the Rings show, report says

Why does Trump think attacking his Manhattan judge is a good plan?

Tennessee House GOP moves to expel 3 Democrats over 'disorderly' gun reform protest