Democrats’ choice wins key Wisconsin Supreme Court race

A Democratic-backed Milwaukee judge won the high stakes Wisconsin Supreme Court race Tuesday, ensuring liberals will take over majority control of the court for the first time in 15 years with the fate of the state’s abortion ban on the line, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, 60, defeated former Justice Dan Kelly, 58, who previously worked for Republicans and had support from the state’s leading anti-abortion groups, by a 12-point margin with 56% of the vote.

The victory speaks to the importance of abortion as an issue for Democrats in a key swing state, with turnout the highest ever for a Wisconsin Supreme Court race that didn’t share the ballot with a presidential primary.

The new court controlled 4–3 by liberals is expected to decide a pending lawsuit challenging the state’s 1849 law banning abortion enacted a year after statehood. In addition to abortion, Protasiewicz’s win is likely to impact the future of Republican-drawn legislative maps, voting rights, and years of other GOP policies.