On Tuesday, April 2, voters will choose a new justice to sit on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn, who's supported by conservatives, and Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who's supported by liberals, are competing for the 10-year term.
The winner will replace Shirley Abrahamson, who chose not to seek re-election after serving more than 40 years. She was first appointed to the Supreme Court in 1976, and at the time was the only woman to serve on the court.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the state's highest court and is made up of seven justices. It has three main functions: case deciding, administrative and regulatory.
Before you head to the polls, here's a look at the two candidates — in alphabetical order — in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.
Brian Hagedorn is currently on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. He was appointed in 2015 by then-Gov. Scott Walker, winning an election for a six-year term in 2017. Before that, Hagedorn was chief legal counsel to Walker for nearly five years.
He says he's running for this seat because he thinks that courts shouldn't "engage in partisan politics." And as a judge, he says he looks at the law as it's written.
"I don't ask, 'Is this law fair or is it not fair?' I don't ask, 'Who's the big guy or the little guy?' ... I look at the laws that are passed by the Legislature. It doesn't matter whether it was a Republican or a Democratic-passed law, you look at what's written," he explains to WUWM's Marti Mikkelson.
Hagedorn went to law school at Northwestern University.
Learn more about him here.
Lisa Neubauer is on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals — first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2014. She was appointed chief judge in the Court of Appeals, first in 2015 and reappointed in 2018. Before becoming a judge, she was a Wisconsin litigation attorney.
"I've had extensive experience in the courts and now I've been on the Court of Appeals for 11 years. I have had the opportunity in that role to literally decide thousands of cases, and I've been made chief by our Wisconsin Supreme Court twice," she explains to WUWM's Marti Mikkelson.
Neubauer says her judicial philosophy is "very straightforward. No agenda no ideology, no predetermined outcomes." She believes everyone who comes into the courts — whether it's the state Circuit Court, state Court of Appeals or the state Supreme Court — needs to be confident "that there's no ideology, no thumb on the scale, no predetermined outcome."
She went to law school at the University of Chicago and earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Learn more about her here.