LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A new state Supreme Court Justice will be decided by voters in Wisconsin on Tuesday. During the election, one person will be chosen to replace Justice Michael Gableman, whose term is ending in July.
The race has come down to Judge Michael Screnock and Judge Rebecca Dallet. Both candidates and their backers have made their positions clear, though the State Supreme court is supposed to remain nonpartisan.
Screnock worked at a Madison law firm before being appointed to the Sauk County Circuit Court in 2015.
"My commitment to upholding the rule of law makes me the best choice for service on our state's highest court. I have practiced law in courts all over the state of Wisconsin," Screnock said.
Before she was elected to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Judge Rebecca Dallet worked as an assistant district attorney.
"I was a prosecutor for 11 years standing up for victims in difficult situations, like rape and child abuse," Dallet said.
Screnock's campaign has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Republican Party of Wisconsin. However, he says this won't influence his decisions.
"Wisconsin has a history of sending the message that they want to see judicial conservatives on our bench. And that is judges and justices who will simply follow the law," Screnock said.
Dallet has the backing of top Democratic leaders, including former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
"We have a broken court, a court that is doing the bidding of special-interest money and the governor. And we need someone who is going to stand up and be fair and independent," Dallet said.
Spring elections typically have a low voter turnout. But both candidates hope that people will be willing to show up to cast a vote not just for who they are, but who they are not.
"My opponent, on the other hand, is an extremist. He has blocked access to women's health care and been arrested for it," said Dallet, referring to an incident where Screnock was arrested while protesting an abortion clinic in 1989.
"She had indicated her intention to advance policy goals from the bench and she stands poised to advance her liberal, activist agenda," Screnock said.
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