Illustration for article titled Liberal Challenger Wins Surprise Victory in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race
Image: AP

Wisconsin Republicans’ immoral plan to force an in-person election in the middle of a pandemic seems to have backfired, with liberal judge Jill Karofsky beating the conservative incumbent Daniel Kelly for a seat on the state’s Supreme Court.

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Republicans overruled attempts by Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, to delay the primary until June and extend absentee voting because they were confident that low voter turnout (thanks to widespread suppression) would mean victory for Kelly.

Not so much! Instead, Kelly became only the second incumbent Supreme Court justice to be ousted since 1967, despite vociferous support from Donald Trump. Though the court will still be majority conservative, Karofsky’s win narrows it to a 4-3 split.

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Voting rights are among the cases the court is scheduled to settle in the coming year. According to Vox, Kelly had previously recused himself from a decision on this case, which could result in 200,000 voters becoming ineligible. Now, Karofsky will have that vote, as well as a say in legal action that results from the state’s redistricting process.

In a statement, Karofsky sent a “heartfelt thank you to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who made their voice heard in this unprecedented election:”

“Although we were successful in this race, the circumstances under which this election was conducted were simply unacceptable, and raise serious concerns for the future of our democracy. Nobody in this state or in this country should have been forced to choose between their safety and participating in an election. Too many were unable to have their voices heard because they didn’t feel safe leaving their home or their absentee ballots weren’t counted.”

Night blogger at Jezebel

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