In tonight’s election for an open seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court to replace retiring conservative incumbent Justice Michael Gableman, de facto Democrat Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge Rebecca Dallet has defeated her de facto Republican challenger, Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) April 4, 2018
With her election, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority will now shrink from 5-2 to 4-3.
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Per the Wisconsin State Journal, Dallet’s victory marks “the first time since 1995 that a Supreme Court candidate backed by liberals has won an open seat on the court.”
“Dallet and Screnock, both 48, competed in one of the most partisan Supreme Court races in recent memory — with high-profile Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder taping robocalls and campaigning for Dallet, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin spending more than $400,000 on behalf of Screnock.”
The victory comes at a critical point in Wisconsin’s history and will be instrumental in shaping the ideological direction of the state’s highest court with cases on gerrymandering and voter suppression imminent.
Tonight’s win for Dallet is all the more impressive given Trump’s surprise win over Hillary Clinton in the state in the 2016 general election.
The Wisconsin election comes on the heels of a slew of Democratic victories in special elections around the country tonight, including Rhode Island’s 8th State Senate District and Massachusetts’ 2nd House District.