Janet Protasiewicz, a judge on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, has won a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, NBC News projects, giving liberals their first majority on the state’s highest court in 15 years.
Protasiewicz defeated conservative Dan Kelly, a former state Supreme Court justice, on Tuesday in what became the most expensive state Supreme Court race in U.S. history and one of the most closely watched elections of 2023.
Protasiewicz will fill the seat being vacated by retiring conservative Justice Patience Roggensack, giving liberals the majority for the first time since 2008.
State Democrats and abortion rights groups lauded her win in the moments after NBC News called the race for her.
The state Supreme Court is widely expected to decide the fate of the state’s restrictive 1849 abortion law in the near term.
Two years earlier, the court, in another 4-3 vote, narrowly upheld the 2020 election results in the state.
As is the case in many states, in Wisconsin, if the governor and the Legislature cannot agree on legislative maps, the issue falls to the state Supreme Court. »