Appellate judges Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer have both released their first campaign ads in the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Hagedorn discussed the adoption of his daughter, Lily, who was born addicted to opioids. He has focused on the opioid crisis on the campaign trail, saying, “The heroin and meth epidemics are ravaging our communities. We must be part of the conversation. Our next justice must recognize that crime victims as well as those accused of crimes are protected in our constitution. And we must remember that law enforcement is our ally, not our enemy.”
In her first video, Neubauer revealed that she was Jane Doe No. 1 in a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Chicago that impacted unconstitutional strip search policies across the country. “It taught me about the importance of being able to look to the courts for those values: justice, fairness, equality,” Neubauer said.
Hagedorn and Neubauer are running in a proxy partisan battle. Although state Supreme Court elections in Wisconsin are nonpartisan, liberal and conservative groups typically coalesce around specific candidates. Conservatives, who back Hagedorn, hold a 4-3 majority on the court heading into the election. Like Shirley Abrahamson, who is retiring and leaving this seat open, Neubauer has been supported by liberals.
If conservatives win this seat, it will expand their majority on the court to 5-2. If liberals retain Abrahamson’s seat, it will set up a battle for control of the court in 2020, when Dan Kelly, who was appointed to the court in 2016 by Gov. Scott Walker (R), will stand for election for the first time.
The election will be held on April 2, 2019.