Prosser wins – what it means for Wisconsin

Yesterday, almost two months after the State Supreme Court election, JoAnne Kloppenburg finally conceded the race to Justice David Prosser.  Even after the long and tedious recount process, Prosser still led by a margin of 7,000+ votes and it was  evident that a court challenge likely wouldn’t change that.

What does Prosser’s reelection to the State Supreme Court mean for Wisconsin?  The most significant outcome of the finally over election is that Wisconsin retains a conservative majority on the highest court in the state, 4-3.  Court observers predicted that a Kloppenburg win would have moved the bench to a liberal majority.  In fact, after the high-profile, expensive, contentious Supreme Court race and the drawn-out recount process, it appears that the conservative bloc on the bench is more solidified than ever before.

Considering the significance of the cases that will likely end up before the State Supreme Court in the next few years, the judicial philosophy of the justices on the bench is as important as everyone made it out to be.  Wisconsin’s State Supreme Court will likely consider cases challenging

  1. The new Voter ID law
  2. Gov. Doyle’s same-sex-only, statewide domestic partnership registry (Appling, et. al., v. Doyle, et. al.)
  3. Gov. Walker’s policy significantly limiting collective bargaining for public employees
  4. The rules regulating guardianship for child custody cases
  5.  Religious liberty in the public square
  6. The defunding of Planned Parenthood in Gov. Walker’s 2012-2013 state budget
That’s just a small sampling of the kind of cases Wisconsin’s high court will likely decide in the next few years.  And there is some merit in the claim that our State Supreme Court is one of the more influential courts in the country–the high court’s decisions could have far-reaching impact beyond our state.
The outcome of this race was hugely significant and also rather telling.  Coming, as it did, on the heals of the most contentious public policy battle in recent state history, the race received far more attention than it would have otherwise.  With 1.5 million votes cast, and a 7,000-vote margin, it highlighted the deep divide in Wisconsin politics, a divide that will no doubt continue into the recall election cycle.

3 comments on “Prosser wins – what it means for Wisconsin

  1. William N. Platta says:

    A deep divide, indeed!! Maybe, just maybe we can now begin to focus on HEALING. It is really raw out there.

  2. Bonnie Baker says:

    It IS raw out there, especially here in Douglas County, and particularly when you read the kind of “Letters to the Editor” I read in our paper each week, from people who have been listening to only one side….the one full of lies.

  3. Grace says:

    I recommend some study and hard work to spread support for (and education of) solid leadership. One recommendation:

    A book: Ethics and the National Economy; written by Fr. Heinrich Pesch, S.J.; published by IHS Press

    Fr. Pesch, S.J. (1854 – 1926) is one of the greatest of philosopher-economists, whose Solidarism is based on the classical and Christian understanding on man and socio-economic life…(see the back of the book for more of his bio.)

    Another recommendation: Nine Days that Changed the World; a new film produced by Newt Gingrich and his wife.

    The film portrays the role that JPII’s nine day visit to his homeland in 1979 played in the peaceful revolution of Solidarity vs. Communism in Poland; the film also asks probing questions about the current (and future) state of human relationships in the social/political/economic realms of Amercian and European life today…

    Both the book and film are well worth getting and sharing!

    link to find out more about the movie:,_2010

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