Most Americans are blissfully ignoring politics this off year as they await the deluge in 2024.
But for states like Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin, this is an election year.
And this year’s most important election could be a matter of life or death for thousands of potential Cheeseheads.
In Virginia, there is a fight over control of the State House and Senate.
But in most of the other states it looks like a relatively boring and predictable year with the parties in power staying in power.
An election that could decide the future of abortion
The big exception to that is in Wisconsin.
Millions of dollars from all over the country are flowing into the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.
In fact, it’s a race many are saying could decide the future of abortion, redistricting, and more in the key 2024 battleground state.
Currently, the court has a slim 4-3 conservative majority, with one swing conservative judge who tends to break with his conservative brethren on some major cases.
The contest is shaping up to be the most expensive state Supreme Court race in history as outside groups — especially those focused on the life issue — are dumping millions into the race.
The previous record for a state Supreme Court race was over $15 million for a 2004 Illinois contest.
In Wisconsin, $10.4 million has already been spent on advertising alone, and that was before the primary!
An 1849 law at the forefront of the campaign
Ben Winkler, Chairman of the Wisconsin Democrat Party said the election “is the hinge on which Wisconsin’s political future will swing. And Wisconsin is the hinge on which national politics swings.”
The race is now a head-on cage match between Janet Protasiewicz, a leftist activist judge from Milwaukee County, and conservative former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly.
The two were, respectively, the first- and second-place finishers in a four-way primary on Tuesday.
The race has major implications for the future of abortion in Wisconsin.
Democrat State Attorney General Josh Kaul has sued to overturn the state’s 1849 abortion law, which prohibits the procedure in almost all circumstances.
Abortion mills in Wisconsin have stopped performing abortions as the legal challenge winds its way through the court system.
It is expected it will end up before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
At stake will be the fate of the 1849 law, and the fate of hundreds of thousands of unborn babies in the Badger State.
Redistricting looms large as well
Abortion is not the only issue that could be decided by this one Supreme Court race.
The state Supreme Court could also decide the victor in the battle over political boundaries, and thus political control, in the state.
Right now Republicans have an almost unbreakable control over the Statehouse.
Democrats are desperate to change the boundaries to gain back control.
“I think we are going to see high turnout from both sides, and why wouldn’t we?” said Mark Jefferson, executive director of the state Republican Party. “Everything is on the line.”
Protasiewicz and her supporters have signaled they would target Kelly on the issue of abortion and his past as a defense attorney.
The left-wing group, Better Wisconsin Together, spent millions in the primary attacking Jennifer Dorow, the conservative judge eliminated in the primary who some Democrats saw as a tougher opponent in the general election and has already booked TV time for it.
And Protasiewicz warned voters of the potential for the 2024 election to end up in court.
She poses a threat on a number of issues
“Look at what happened in the 2020 presidential election, and how the results of the Wisconsin election landed in the Supreme Court chamber,” she said. “I think it’s more likely than not that the results of the 2024 presidential election could also end up in the Supreme Court chamber.”
Ben Voelkel, a senior adviser to Kelly’s campaign, said it was “incredibly shortsighted” that Democrats were trying to turn the race into a “single-issue” contest on abortion.
He said conservatives would rally against Protasiewicz because of the threat she posed on a number of issues in addition to abortion.
He pointed to issues like charter schools and gun rights, and said they would be also hitting her on her judicial record.
Conservative groups have attacked her as soft on crime, pointing to a case in which she gave “probation for a child rapist.”
Voelkel said, “She had very, very lenient sentences for some people who committed very heinous crimes. There’s going to be more that comes out about what exactly her judicial track record is.”
Fair Courts America, a conservative group backed by GOP mega donor Richard Uihlein, spent millions on TV boosting Kelly in the primary, and most believe it will continue its spending in the April 4 general election.
But it’s abortion driving the train
Taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood is planning to spend seven-figures on the race and has already hired staff in several cities to support its get-out-the-vote effort.
Students for Life, one of the most effective Pro-Life organizations, is also planning to engage in the race with digital media and outreach to activists on the ground in Wisconsin.
And Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which made a six-figure investment into the primary election, is planning to make another six-figure investment into the general election.
“This is Wisconsin’s Roe moment. This is the most impactful election from a Pro-Life perspective that we have had since pre-1973,” said Gracie Skogman, legislative and PAC director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.