Next week, Wisconsinites will decide the next justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and in turn, the ideological balance of the court. The Chair of the Wisconsin Democrat Party has dubbed the race "the most important election that nobody’s ever heard of"—and for good reason. As Politico pointed out earlier this year, the next court has the potential to make landmark rulings in the near future on everything from abortion to elections:
There are significant policy outcomes hanging on the result. The court chose the state’s political maps for the decade after the Democratic governor and Republican Legislature deadlocked, and it’s likely to hear a case challenging Wisconsin’s 19th-century law banning almost all abortions in the near future. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court also decided major cases on election laws and voting rights before and after the 2020 presidential election.
One of the biggest wins for Republicans on Election Day was gaining the majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court (North Carolina elects its state supreme court justices in partisan races.):
[T]he biggest and longest-lasting impacts of Tuesday’s elections will be felt at the state Supreme Court, where Republicans flipped two Democratic-held seats to earn a 5-2 majority that will last until at least 2028.
State lawmakers and U.S. House members elected Tuesday will have to face voters two more times before Democrats even get a chance to retake the state’s highest court. In that time, conservative justices will have a chance to weigh in on a multitude of issues, including redistricting, voting rights, the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches and social issues, including, potentially, abortion rights.Read more
State supreme court elections often fall under the radar, but issues like redistricting and the overturning of Roe v. Wade are raising their profile as we approach the 2022 midterm elections. As Politico explained:
Thirty states have or will hold state Supreme Court elections this year, in a combination of traditional elections or a retention vote — an up-or-down vote to decide if a judge should stay on the bench. And some of the biggest state Supreme Court contests this year map alongside traditional battlegrounds, like Michigan and North Carolina, while others creep into redder or bluer territory. . .Read more