In the election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday, former president Barack Obama urged voters to cast their ballots as soon as possible. The winner of the election will control the state's highest court, according to The Washington Examiner.
To fill the seventh seat on the court, which is split 3-3 following the retirement of conservative Justice Patience Roggensack, former conservative state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly is running against leftist Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz.
“Today is the first day of early voting in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election,” Obama tweeted.
“It’s going to be close, so don’t wait until April 4th. Make a plan to vote today and encourage your family and friends to do the same.”
Today is the first day of early voting in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election. It's going to be close, so don’t wait until April 4th. Make a plan to vote today and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Find your early vote location: https://t.co/Lo7Jj6piAN
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 21, 2023
Obama's request comes as the court is scheduled to hear crucial political issues, one of which would remove the state's 1849-era ban on abortion.
After the US Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade this summer, state legislators and courts are once again in charge of regulating abortion. Except in cases where it is necessary to preserve the mother's life, abortion is now illegal.
Protasiewicz has been a vocal advocate for access to abortion, raising the topic during the election. Kelly hasn't discussed the subject as much in public, but he has the backing of some well-known anti-abortion organizations.
Yet, neither candidate has made it clear how they would decide a case involving abortion. The candidates frequently bring up the state's redistricting plans as a topic of discussion.
Protasiewicz asserted during a discussion on Tuesday that there are problems with the legislative and congressional maps for Wisconsin and that the court ought to get involved.
Nonetheless, Kelly stated that he does not think the court should be involved in drawing up the redistricting maps.
"The way you draw those lines is almost entirely political, except that there are some legal requirements you have to meet," Kelly said. "We'll leave the political questions to the state legislature where they belong."
The crucial election's first day of voting for state residents is this Tuesday. Election day is April 4.