Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Faces Major Cases Under New Liberal Majority

by Madison Thomas
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Wisconsin Supreme Court

The recent shift in control of Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court, with liberals now holding the majority, has set the stage for significant conflicts in the battleground state. These cases could have far-reaching implications, affecting issues such as the legality of abortions, voting rules, and legislative boundary lines.

For the past 15 years, conservatives had dominated the court until Tuesday when the balance of power shifted to the liberal justices, who will maintain their majority for at least the next two years.

During the conservative era, the court made several controversial decisions, including upholding Republican-drawn maps that favored the GOP, enforcing a state law that curtailed collective bargaining for public workers, and deeming absentee ballot drop boxes illegal.

Tensions and deep partisan divisions have been common on the court, with notable instances like a 2011 case on collective bargaining rights, where a liberal justice accused a conservative colleague of attempting to choke her.

The recent firing of the state court director Randy Koschnick by liberal justices has drawn further attention. Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, a conservative, criticized the liberal justices for an “overreaching power” move in this regard.

Anticipated cases that will come before the court include issues related to redistricting, abortion rights, voting rules for the 2024 election, the selection of a chief justice, challenges to union rights, gubernatorial veto power, and the school choice program.

These cases hold significant implications for Wisconsin’s political landscape and could shape the state’s policies for years to come. With the ideological balance of the court now leaning left, these major decisions are being closely watched by all sides involved.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wisconsin Supreme Court

What is the current status of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court?

As of now, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is under liberal control, with the majority of justices being from the liberal camp. They took over control after conservatives held the court for 15 years.

What major cases are expected to come before the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

Several major cases are anticipated to come before the court, including issues related to the legality of abortions, voting rules, redistricting, union rights, gubernatorial veto power, and the school choice program.

How do the recent changes in the Supreme Court affect Wisconsin’s political landscape?

The recent shift in control of the court has set the stage for deep divisions in the state, as the liberal majority now has the power to make decisions on critical issues that can shape Wisconsin’s policies for years to come.

What controversies have arisen in the Supreme Court recently?

Tensions have risen on the court, with accusations of an “overreaching power” move by liberal justices when they fired the state court director. Partisan divisions and conflicts among justices have been common, even leading to heated exchanges in the past.

How significant are the upcoming cases for Wisconsin?

The cases before the Supreme Court hold great importance for Wisconsin, as they could determine the state’s electoral boundaries, voting rules, access to abortion, union rights, and educational policies through the school choice program.

How long will the liberal majority hold control of the court?

The liberal majority is expected to remain in control for at least the next two years. However, the dynamics of the court may change depending on future elections and appointments.

How might the court’s decisions impact Wisconsin’s political landscape?

The decisions made by the court on major issues such as redistricting and voting rules could have a profound impact on the state’s political balance and may influence election outcomes and legislative priorities.

Are there any past instances of controversial decisions made by the court?

During the conservative era, the court made several contentious decisions, including upholding Republican-drawn maps and enforcing laws that restricted collective bargaining for public workers, which fueled political tensions in the state.

What are the potential consequences of the court’s ruling on abortion rights?

The court’s ruling on abortion rights could have significant implications for women’s access to reproductive healthcare in Wisconsin and may impact the national debate on the topic.

How does Wisconsin’s Supreme Court compare to other state courts in terms of significance?

Given Wisconsin’s status as a battleground state, the decisions of its Supreme Court carry substantial weight in shaping policies and influencing national politics, making it a closely watched and influential institution.

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