Dallet Elected To Wisconsin Supreme Court


MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Liberal judge Rebecca Dallet's runaway victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race cheered Democrats eager for more evidence that their party can expect success in the midterm elections this fall. Meanwhile, Burns ran as a "big-D and small-d" Democrat, proudly proclaiming he would overturn every Scott Walker, Republican Legislature, and current Supreme Court action if he made the bench, and belittling the Federalist Society at a debate the Socitety hosted.

Liberal Rebecca Dallet says her victory in Wisconsin's Supreme Court race over conservative Michael Screnock shows that voters are exhausted of special interests and want to have a "fair and independent court". "Next, they'll target me and work to undo our bold reforms".

As has so often happened during the Walker years, though, liberals came up short in that 2011 contest - the conservative justice won reelection by a mere 0.4 percent margin. Dallet is running against Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock.

Dallet led Sauk County judge Micheal Screnock by more than 10 points with more than 70 percent precincts reporting.

"Last night was just a phenomenal night for all of us to see areas all over the state of Wisconsin turning blue", said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Like the races in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania before it, Dallet's win in Wisconsin is perceived to be a sign of a Democratic wave spreading across the country. Randy Bryce called the Dallet win "a rallying cry for working folks". Dallet traveled to San Francisco last month to raise money from Democrats there, she spoke at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention previous year and has been endorsed by a wide array of Democratic office holders. But this year's race has attracted several high-profile Democrats, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

JOHNSON: Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske says Holder and others are trying to seize on Democratic enthusiasm.

"The candidate with the most experience in our courts and standing up for the fairness of our courts won", she said.

The candidates did not run with party affiliations. The election shifts the court's ideological balance, leaving conservatives with just a 4-3 edge instead of a 5-2 domination. With Dallet's win, six of the seven members of the court are now women.

It marked the first time in 23 years that a liberal candidate who wasn't an incumbent won a seat on the high court.

After the judges ruled against Walker, legislative Republicans planned to hold an extraordinary session to rewrite the law that the governor was breaking, and thus still keep the elections from happening.

St. Croix County voters who supported Dallet said they hoped her win would send a message. In 12 of those counties, she gained at least 1,000 more votes than did Screnock. Screnock was appointed judge by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2015 and previously worked as a private-practice attorney and local government leader. Before that, Screnock was part of a team that defended Walker's Act 10 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

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