New justice flips Wisconsin Supreme Court majority from conservative to liberal

By 
 August 3, 2023

Liberal Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz made headlines in April when she defeated conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly for a seat on the state's highest judicial body.

Protasiewicz was sworn in on Tuesday, something which is expected to have a significant impact on a range of issues. 

Protasiewicz promises "a fair and impartial Supreme Court"

Fox News pointed out that Protasiewicz's addition to the Supreme Court flips it from having a conservative majority to a liberal one for the first time in 15 years.

"We all want a Wisconsin where our freedoms are protected. We want a Wisconsin with a fair and impartial Supreme Court," Protasiewicz said after taking her oath of office.

"We all want to live in communities that are safe. And we all want a Wisconsin where everyone is afforded equal justice under the law," the new justice added.

The network also noted how she "made abortion rights a focus of her winning election campaign" while slamming the state's Republican-drawn electoral map as "rigged."

New lawsuits on abortion and electoral maps have been filed

Those issues are likely to come before the state Supreme Court, with the Associated Press reporting last month that Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper ruled Wisconsin's 19th-century law protecting children in the womb doesn't cover abortion.

"There is no such thing as an '1849 Abortion Ban' in Wisconsin," Schlipper wrote in an opinion which argued that the law only applies when a child dies as a result of violence against his or her mother.

Meanwhile, Fox 59 reported that a lawsuit was filed this week which challenges the way Wisconsin's electoral districts are drawn.

The suit is being brought by a coalition of left-wing groups, including Law Forward, which is led by board president Jeff Mandell.

Mandell was quoted as saying, "Despite the fact that our legislative branch is meant to be the most directly representative of the people, the gerrymandered maps have divided our communities, preventing fair representation."

Liberals welcome Protasiewicz to the state Supreme Court

Protasiewicz's elevation to the state Supreme Court was celebrated by many on the left, including Democratic Victor Shi.

In a tweet put out on Tuesday, Shi expressed gratitude to Wisconsin voters, calling Protasiewicz's swearing-in "amazing" and "great news."

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