Judicial Election Could Decide Fate Of Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law
There’s an election in Wisconsin on Tuesday that could end up deciding the fate of the state’s controversial collective bargaining law:
Scott Walker’s anti-union team could suffer a big defeat in Wisconsin’s April 5 Supreme Court election. If Dem-backed JoAnne Kloppenburg defeats Republican David Prosser, she could lead a 4-3 majority to overturn Walker’s anti-union law. (Kloppenburg has telegraphed as much, saying “The events of the last few weeks have put into sharp relief how important the Supreme Court is as a check on overreach in the other branches of government.”) Worse, a Prosser loss will be played up in the national press as a voter repudiation of Walker and his agenda-a turning of the tide, second Tunisia, Spring Awakening, etc. The left is already gloating over private polls that show the race close-not good news for an incumbent in a low-turnout election. … What’s more, it looks as if the left has the money advantage, in part because Prosser opted for public financing.
I think it will be close: the left is engaged and enraged. We conservatives are engaged. Don’t know about the independents. This is a traditionally very low turnout election and if the unions turn out their troops, there might be enough votes to flip the court. But no one on our side is complacent about this. We understand that, as you say, it is for all the marbles.
This will turn on how the race is defined: if voters decide based on credentials: Prosser wins; if they see it as a choice between a liberal and a conservative judge, Prosser wins; if it turns on who is tough on crime, Prosser wins.
But, if it is seen as a referendum on Walker or the union bill, Kloppenburg has a very real shot.
This in a state where a sitting State Supreme Court Justice losing a re-election bid is nearly as rare as Halley’s Comet. This in a state that just 4 months ago (feels like years) voted overwhelmingly for Republican rule.