Meet The 2020 Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates
Updated April 2 at 12:59 p.m. CT
On April 7, Wisconsin voters will decide which candidate will earn a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court. Incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly faces a challenge from Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky.
Although the office is non-partisan, the court currently has a 5-2 conservative majority. Kelly is supported by conservatives. Liberals have endorsed Karofsky.
The April 7 general election is the same day as Wisconsin’s presidential primary. Before you head to the polls, here's a look at the candidates — in alphabetical order — in the 2020 Wisconsin Supreme Court race.
Jill Karofsky is a Dane County Circuit Court judge. She has also been a state prosecutor and the executive director of the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services.
"My judicial philosophy is that every single person in my courtroom should be treated with dignity and respect and fairness, that the rule of law has to be followed in every case, whether or not I personally agree with that,” she explains.
She emphasizes that she's the only person in this race who’s in a trial court.
"I am seeing every day how these cases impact real people’s lives. They are not an esoteric exercise ... I have seen the front line, seen how the law impacts real people and I have a long record of following the rule of law," she says.
Karofsky went to law school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Learn more about her here.
Incumbent Daniel Kelly was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2016 by former republican Gov. Scott Walker. Before that, he spent about 20 years representing clients on a variety of legal issues.
“I think it’s critical that we have jurists on the Supreme Court who are committed to applying the law as it exists, not the law as we might wish it to be, but as it’s actually created and maintained by the people of Wisconsin and their legislators,” Kelly says.
One issue that he's been talking about with voters is the proper relationship between Wisconsinites and the government.
"My understanding is that the authority to create and maintain governments belongs to us. They don’t give it away, they don’t sell it, they don’t alienate it in any way and yet, I exercise some of their authority on their behalf. That’s because they’ve loaned it to me," Kelly says.
He went to Regent University School of Law.
Learn more about Kelly here.
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