Skip to main content
We may receive compensation from affiliate partners for some links on this site. Read our full Disclosure here.

Control For Wisconsin Supreme Court Flips

Liberal Judge Janet Protasiewicz has defeated Daniel Kelly for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Protasiewicz’s victory gives liberals a 4-3 majority in the court.

Protasiewicz defeated Kelly 57.5% to 42.5%.

The election is expected to have a significant impact on abortion and legislative districts in the state of Wisconsin.

According to MSNDC, liberals gained control of Wisconsin’s high court for the first time in 15 years.


The Hill reported:

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz is projected to win the vacant seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, marking the first time in 15 years that the court will have a liberal majority, according to The Associated Press.

Protasiewicz and her challenger, former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, were seeking to replace outgoing conservative Justice Patience Roggensack on the court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has a 4-3 conservative majority, but with Roggensack’s retirement, the partisan lean of the court hung in the balance.

The election will have clear consequences for a host of issues in the state, including a contested 1849 abortion ban that offers very limited exceptions, redistricting and even possible challenges to the 2024 election results.

Though the judicial race is technically nonpartisan, Protasiewicz and Kelly were seen as the liberal and conservative contenders, respectively. The two made it into the Tuesday race after they became the two top vote-getters during the initial February election, which featured four candidates in total.

Protasiewicz placed first during the February election with 47 percent of the vote, while Kelly came in second at 24 percent.

“Our state is taking a step forward to a better and brighter future where our rights and freedoms will be protected,” Protasiewicz said.

“And while there is still work to be done, tonight we celebrate this historic victory that has obviously reignited hope in so many of us.”

NPR noted:

Should the court redraw the maps and give Democrats a better chance of winning races for the legislature, they hope they could finally push the state’s political trajectory to the left. The court could also potentially redraw Wisconsin’s congressional map, where Republicans currently hold six out of eight U.S House seats in an otherwise 50-50 state.

Protasiewicz was born and raised on Milwaukee’s south side, spending 25 years as a prosecutor in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office and most of the last decade as a judge.

While she never promised to rule one way or another on cases that come before the Supreme Court, Protasiewicz was especially open about her politics during the campaign. On the issue of abortion, she said she believed women have a right to choose. When it came to redistricting, she called the state’s Republican-drawn legislative maps “rigged.”


Join the conversation!

Please share your thoughts about this article below. We value your opinions, and would love to see you add to the discussion!

Leave a comment
Thanks for sharing!