Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz said Tuesday that she would likely only serve one 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court if she’s elected next month.
“This is a one-time thing for me,” the Milwaukee County Circuit judge said about her upcoming election against conservative candidate Dan Kelly, adding that she is 60 years old.
But she said she’s also opposed to term limits, saying the experience and knowledge justices acquire on the job should qualify them for additional time on the court.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board, Protasiewicz also said she wouldn’t recuse herself from cases challenging former Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 legislation, which effectively eliminated collective bargaining for most public employees, despite having marched against the 2011 legislation and signed a petition to recall Walker.
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“I’m not committed to anything on any case, other than having an open mind and being independent and following the law,” she said. “I’m very, very capable of separating my personal feelings from what the law is. ... I do it every day.”
Protasiewicz previously said she would recuse herself from cases involving the Democratic Party of Wisconsin after the organization donated $2.5 million to her campaign. At the time, she said she wouldn’t recuse herself from cases involving abortion rights or redistricting even though groups supportive of abortion rights and redistricting reform have supported her. Protasiewicz has repeatedly made her support for abortion rights clear and has called the state’s legislative maps “rigged.”
Against a more topical opponent, Dan Kelly pins hopes on broad appeal to protecting the Constitution
Kelly has said he would decide recusals on a case-by-case basis. He is scheduled to meet with the State Journal editorial board on Thursday. He participated in a Milwaukee Press Club event Tuesday co-hosted by WisPolitics.com and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee; Protasiewicz declined to attend the event.
Asked whether she would be a swing vote on the court — like Justice Brian Hagedorn, who has made his conservative views clear but also voted against conservative interests — or a predictable member of an ideological bloc, Protasiewicz said, “I don’t think anybody’s ever called me predictable.”
“I also don’t ever do anything the easy way,” she said. “I think those justices who call them as they see them and don’t vote with the bloc are the justices that people respect.”
In this Series
Record-breaking race for state Supreme Court
Janet Protasiewicz continues outraising Dan Kelly with Democratic Party help
Dan Kelly says Jan. 6 participant's campaign work for him is 'invaluable'
Janet Protasiewicz attack on opponent Dan Kelly gives short shrift to defense attorneys
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