The latest sign of that dynamic came in Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election, when a Milwaukee County judge won by 11 points. to give more liberals after 15 years a conservative government.
Candidates and Democrats who support themselves are relentlessly focused on abortion rights in a state that has seen the availability of abortion after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A Wisconsin court is now expected in the next year or two to overturn the state’s 19th century ban on most abortions.
Democrats plan to rally voters around abortion rights, in this case starting with the state legislature in Virginia, where the Republican president has pushed through a fifteen-week abortion ban. Abortion is also big in some of the dozens of state Supreme Court cases that will take place next year. It is certain to play a role abroad in the 2024 presidential election, as well as the House and the Senate, which could consider the abortion of the nation’s Congress.
““I think the moment when Republicans are asked in the presidential primary debates whether they will bring abortion nationally and they raise their hands is the moment that they will lose the next presidential election,” said Ben Wikler, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said the Wisconsin results show conservatives need to do a better job with their messages when it comes to abortion.
“This is not an issue that is going away for our parties in the post-Dobbs world, and we can’t put our head in the sand and think it’s going to happen in 2024, he said on Wednesday on Fox News.
In a Wisconsin Supreme Court case, Victoria Protasiewicz Janet on Tuesday has implications for rights far beyond abortion. That’s because Democrats have given challenges to voting rules, union boundaries and election boards, which have given Republicans nearly two-thirds of the state legislature.
Protasiewicz’s victory is the latest evidence of how abortion rights can sway voters.
Less than six weeks after the US Supreme Court issued its ruling, voters in Kansas rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have removed abortion protections. In the November mid-term elections, the plan helped the Democrats to support the head winds that usually destroy the president’s party in the first term. Democrats retained the US Senate and won key presidential races; when they lost the US House, they more or less prevented the republic from gaining a small margin of power.
In Michigan, voters in November overwhelmingly supported an amendment to the state constitution to guarantee access to abortion. When they were in power, they picked up Democrats in large positions, some by double-digit margins, and gave them power over state legislatures. One The Democrats’ first actions were to vote on a state law banning abortion Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed on Wednesday.
In Wisconsin last year, Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) ran for re-election on abortion rights and always reminding voters that they were trying to overturn the state’s abortion ban.
Their challenge to the ban will be heard before a federal judge in Madison next month. Whatever the ruling, the case is sure to be appealed to the state Supreme Court. On the campaign trail, Protasiewicz said he couldn’t say how he would vote in the case, but he repeatedly emphasized his support for abortion rights. In one speech, given in March at a conference of county officials, Protasiewicz said “a woman’s freedom to make her own health decisions with her doctor, family and faith.”
His opponent, former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, criticized Protasiewicz for voicing his political views, saying it was inappropriate for candidates to telegraph how they would rule on pending cases. Years before he became a justice, Kelly made his views known in blog posts that said abortion takes life and argued that Democrats support access to the procedure to “preserve sexual libertarianism.”
Protasiewicz hit Kelly with double digits in the second he returns private. Turnout was high with nearly 40 percent of voters choosing to cast ballots. In the upcoming elections, it showed less than 30 percent of the electorate.
In the victory of Protasiewicz’s party, the three liberals, who are already being pushed into the court of Lizzo, are to be celebrated before joining justice. In interviews, they said Dobbs The decision helped Protasiewicz connect with voters — a welcome opportunity, since so many voters know what the court is doing.
“It is very difficult for people to understand how the Supreme Court has impacted their daily lives because sometimes cases and cases take months; years and decades earlier than it ever came to us,” said liberal justice Jill Karofsky. “Dobbs It absolutely shows people how the Supreme Court can affect people’s everyday lives.”
The Liberals will have control of the court until at least 2025, when Liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley will be up for re-election. Bradley, who has been on the court since 1995 and plans to seek a fourth 10-year term, credited the liberals for taking the court aside this week. Dobbs and other decisions handed down in recent years by conservatives on the US Supreme Court.
“I think that people are hungry for change right now,” said Bradley. “And then you have the Supreme Court of the United States. Some of the decisions that have been handed down in the US Supreme Court, I think, have done damage to public trust and confidence, and I think people like Janet Protasiewicz had a message that resonated with people. Hopefully it’s a step towards public trust and confidence to be restored
Avoiding the issue of abortion again Tuesday night, Kelly told supporters that he respected the will of the voters, but that he considered Protasiewicz an unworthy opponent who had defeated him. He warned of Wisconsin’s dark times, closing his speech: “I wish Wisconsin the best of luck, because I think it needs it.”
Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, a conservative, said Wednesday that she expected the justices to do their part now that the elections are over.
“The courts are going to change politically, as they always have,” he said in an interview. “There are different types of salaries, but we meet and decide the reasons. We welcome our new justices as elected and proceed with the business of the court.
Ziegler endorsed Kelly late in the campaign after initially being a conservative backup who didn’t make it through the February primary. He declined to talk Wednesday about the role the abortion played in the race.
In Virginia, abortion is once again proving to be the most pressing issue since the legislation was passed this fall, said Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.
Taking a brief look at Republican mandates, she said: “We women — on the part of the people, you know — are fed up, mad and mad at hell that you want to treat us like second-class citizens and take away our rights that used to be. Well established since 1973. So now is the price to be paid for it. It’s going to be on schedule.”
After the Wisconsin event, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Republicans needed to know what voters were telling people about the state.
“The message from the voters is clear: Americans have the freedom to voluntarily pay for reproductive health care without government interference,” he said.
Former President Donald Trump, who appointed three of the justices, signed on to the village DobbsHe did not mention the abortion in explaining why Kelly died. Instead, he said Kelly didn’t win because Trump didn’t ask for or receive endorsements — even though Kelly also lost by a wide margin in 2020, when he had Trump’s endorsement.
“He is outraged that he did not ask Trump for his signature, that he did not give it, because he has done damage.” Trump wrote on the Social Truth platform.
The Wisconsin election was held on the same day a 34-count indictment against Trump was signed.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to approve a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy signed into law the 15-week ban last year. Asked recently about the six-week proposal, DeSantis, who was expected to run for president, said, “I want to sign big life laws.”
But in a sign that GOP leaders are taking a more cautious approach, DeSantis has not publicly pushed for the measure, the same way he has championed other bills moving through the Republican-dominated Legislature. The super-author did not mention abortion in speeches that eventually settled on other of his legislative priorities, from a ban on “central digital records” to a crackdown on “diversity, equity and inclusion” programs in public colleges.
As DeSantis travels the country and continues to Michigan this week, Democratic leaders are looking for him to highlight Florida’s abortion bill, scheduling a call with reporters on what they called “DeSantis’s Extreme MAGA Abortion Ban.”
Former Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent, a Republican who supports abortion rights, said the event in Wisconsin should be another wake-up call to a party that has taken an unpopular position in the state.
“The bottom line is that Republicans across the country have to admit that they’ve lost faith in this state,” Dent said. “Republicans are finding that a lot of their voters don’t want abortion to be illegal. It’s simple, and it’s not an easy number.
John Brabender, a Republican strategist who ran the political campaigns of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santos, a staunch opponent of abortion, said he does not believe the Wisconsin result is a harbinger of future elections. Brabender pointed to the election of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) last year Dobbs ruling as evidence that abortion was not the primary driver of votes.
“I think they want to see this as a major precursor to 2024 is remarkably rural,” Brabender said.
Johnson opposes abortion, but took a nod in his 2022 campaign, arguing that the state should have a referendum so Wisconsin voters could decide on abortion. Republicans, who control state laws, did not accept Johnson’s idea.
Wisconsin’s abortion statute was enacted after 1849 — prohibiting the procedure in any way except to save the life of the pregnant woman. State Democrats seized on the ban to allow women to vote on Tuesday, noting that the ban was passed decades before women could vote and does not include exceptions for rape or incest.
“I’ve never seen so many students explain before that they’ve never voted before, now because of abortion they feel voting is important,” said Isabella Dunai, 23, a senior at the University of Wisconsin. Madison. “I think it’s horrible what happened, but the response from people, especially the students, has amazed me.”
Jason Rivera, 22, a senior at the university, said abortion rights clearly defined the Supreme Court race.
“It’s more than just abortion. Women’s care is like literal health,” said Rivera, who heads the liberal group Arise. “There was a law made before people to wash their hands to get up, and it’s crazy to me.”
Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said conservative candidates cannot give up on abortion on the Democrats’ behalf.
“We don’t have a coherent message or a coherent response plan because” goat v. Wade it was overthrown,” he said. “Now let the courts do what we need in this state, and that will turn the abortion movement into a debate” 24.
Itkowitz reported from Washington, Tallahassee and Wells from Madison.