Wisconsin Leftists Flex Muscles with Supreme Court “Coup”—Buckle Up for Unlimited Abortion, Vote-By-Mail, and New COVID Lockdowns

by | Sep 4, 2023 | Law and Fair Courts

The Left is celebrating its new razor-thin majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court—the first in 15 years—by stripping the conservative chief justice of her power and authority. And this is only the beginning.

State Supreme Court races have become vehicles to socially re-engineer America and Wisconsin is the latest target for the far Left. The Badger State saw a major reversal of power in April, when for the first time in 15 years, “progressives” seized control of the judicial branch.

This change was thanks to former Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, whose election won her a 10-year term and flipped the swing state’s high court to a 4–3 liberal majority. It will now remain under leftist control for at least 2 years.

That’s long enough to rubber stamp sweeping changes to Wisconsin law, and even influence the outcome of the 2024 election. Recall that Wisconsin came within one vote of overturning Joe Biden’s extremely close margin of victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race.

Unfortunately, conservatives dropped the ball in April and the effects couldn’t be worse, sending shockwaves through our country’s political system. The new majority has wasted little time putting its radical agenda on full display—starting with disruption of the court from the inside.

Going for the Throat

On just the second day of their new majority, the “progressive” justices voted to fire Wisconsin’s state court system director, Randy Koschnik—a longtime judge who’d served in that role for 6 years—drawing backlash from conservative chief justice Annette Ziegler, who accused her colleagues of staging a “coup.”

Koschnik’s replacement, Audrey Skwierawski, was quickly tasked with limiting the chief justice’s power by forming a committee to assume many of Ziegler’s duties.

In emails outlining why the action was a “raw exercise of overreaching power,” the chief justice accused the court’s four “progressives” of having motives that were “apparently political,” labeling it an “illegal experiment.” Ziegler called out the new majority for acting as a “walking quorum,” meaning they were conducting secret meeting to hide their agenda from the minority and the public.

This was not an idle threat, as the Wisconsin Department of Justice describes a “walking quorum” as an offense worthy of “prosecution”:

A walking quorum may produce a predetermined outcome and thus render a publicly-held meeting a mere formality. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has commented that any attempt to avoid the appearance of a meeting through the use of a walking quorum is subject to prosecution under the open meetings law.

Ziegler also claimed Skwierawski’s appointment was unconstitutional and admonished her for using the chief justice’s name, to sign orders without her consent. Ziegler wrote in an email:

You never asked me for permission. You do not have my permission. Stop. These orders are in my name. You have no lawful authority to sign them. If you have signed anything else under my name, please advise immediately. Any response should be done in writing.

The chief justice went a step further, saying the political escalation was reaching critical mass and effecting all elements of the court:

You are making a mess of the judiciary, the court and the institution for years to come. . . This must stop. . . I have no confidence in the recent hostile takeover and the chaotic effect it has had on the court, staff, and the overall stable functioning of the courts.

What Issues Hang in the Balance?

At the top of the list is Wisconsin’s 1849 law effectively banning abortion. Fresh off their victory in ruby-red Ohio, Leftist groups are eager to transform Wisconsin into a sanctuary state for abortion, by legalizing the murder of the unborn up until birth.  

What about the 2024 election? The court is expected to decide the fate of mass absentee ballots and Covid related election rules, which helped contribute to Trump’s loss in 2020.

The Elias Law Group—a Democratic firm run by super-lawyer Marc Elias—filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, to overturn a critical ruling from the court’s conservative majority of last year. The ruling had found the state violated election laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Elias Law Group’s clients—Democratic super PAC “Priorities USA” and the “Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans”—are pushing for the state to revive controversial drop boxes that were used to collect mail-in ballots. Recall that many of Wisconsin’s drop boxes in 2020 were paid for by Mark Zuckerberg through the Center for Tech and Civic Life, with money also known as “Zuck Bucks.”

In addition, Elias’ firm is seeking to overturn a second decision by a county judge, that prevented election clerks from “curing” or fixing problems on absentee ballots. The most absurd request though, was the elimination of the witness signature requirement for absentee voting. The Republican National Committee, Wisconsin Republican Party, and local counties saw how dire this situation could become, and hit back by filing a motion to join the lawsuit as defendants.

Another lawsuit, filed just one day after the new court majority took hold, is asking the justices to overturn the electoral map drawn by state legislators. A Democrat-friendly ruling is likely, especially given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent willingness to strike down redistricting maps in the case of Allen v. Milligan.

If this lawsuit succeeds in state court, every Wisconsin senator on the ballot in 2024 would be forced to run in new districts. This could disturb the current balance of power between Democrat Gov. Tony Evers and a veto-proof Republican majority. If Republicans lose that majority, it could turn the red-leaning purple state into a solid blue bastion of oppression in just a few short years.

If Protasiewicz’s record on crime is any indication of how the court will lean, Wisconsin should also brace for its rising crime rates to go up even further. She was criticized on the campaign trail for being soft on crime and once suspended the prison sentence of a convicted domestic abuser, before he ultimately killed two people in 2019.

Bankrolling the Takeover

Wisconsin campaign finance records show George Soros and Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker each donated $1 million to the state Democratic Party before the race. This represents roughly 30 percent of the $6.6 million in individual contributions given to the party between February and late March.

Other leftist mega-donors like Karla Jurvetson gave half a million dollars to the state party about a month before the election, after having already donated $20,000 to “Janet for Justice” in late 2022. Another far-left donor, Fred Eychaner, contributed $250,000 to the state party and gave “Janet for Justice” $20,000 in the weeks leading up to the race. These were made after Eychaner had donated $150,000 to the state party late last year.

A leftist group, A Better Wisconsin Together, led the way with $6.2 million in pro-Protasiewicz outside spending.

Before the polls opened, the race had topped $42 million in total spending. This represents almost triple the previous national record for a state court race. It also showed Democrats with about a $6 million edge on Republicans.

The Shape of Things to Come

Wisconsin Republicans must fight back against redistricting challenges, continue to use their super-majority to override the governor’s veto pen and put as many resources as possible into future appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Conservatives can no longer afford low voter turnout in these key races, as the heavy cost we must pay for our recent lack of vigilance continues to play out, with devastating effects.

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