Gavel Grab

Nonpartisan Wisconsin High Court Race Turns Political

The nonpartisan race for a spot on the Wisconsin Supreme Court will heat up following today’s primary election. Incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack is being challenged by Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone and lemon law attorney Vince Megna.

Only two candidates will go on to the April 2 general election. The Associated Press reports that less than 10 percent voter turnout is expected today.

Legal scholars are calling this race more partisan than past judicial elections because its following the general election of 2012, says the Daily Cardinal.

“The extremely political year we had last year with the recall election and the presidential race especially made the partisanship and polarization that was evident in Wisconsin over the past couple of years even more evident,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor David Canon.

Both Megna and Fallone have accused the current court of being dysfunctional. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says they are pointing to the 2011 physical altercation between Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and David Prosser as evidence of court infighting (see Gavel Grab).

Megna is publicly running as a Democrat even though the election is considered nonpartisan. Roggensack has received financial support from Republican Party campaign committees, says the Journal Sentinel, but she has not aligned with a political party.

Despite his public political leanings, Megna has not received much support from local Democrats. Instead, Fallone is receiving support from left leaning groups in Wisconsin, the article says.

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