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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Next Year's Main Event

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Too soon to think about the next election? Unfortunately, it's already upon us and it's going to be a big one. Once again (again!) the State Supreme Court will up for grabs.

Yesterday, Justice Pat Roggensack -- one of the four conservatives on the high court  announced that she would be running for re-election. 

Under normal circumstances that would be a political non-event. Roggensack is widely respected and until recently, incumbent justices generally cruised to re-election. (Loophole Louis Butler was an exception, having been appointed to the bench by Governor Doyle after he was roundly defeated by the voters.)

This time around, expect a full court press ala Prosser from the left to unseat her. Conservatives hold a tenuous 4-3 majority on the bitterly divided court and a Roggensack loss would flip control of the court, putting uber-liberal Shirley Abrahamson back in charge. Could that happen?

Recall that before the last supreme court election, David Prosser was considered safe; Prosser's support was broadly bipartisan and he was respected on both sides of the aisle for his jurisprudence. He ended up winning by just 7000 votes. Even after his re-election, the left's campaign to discredit/unseat him has been ongoing and unrelenting.

 What's at stake here? Well, pretty much everything. Act 10. Photo ID. You name a Walker reform, and it would be in the cross hairs of a liberal-dominated court.

The question for conservatives is whether voters who have been pummeled with serial elections will once again answer the bell.

The left may be actually be helping with that. By running Dane County liberal Maryann Sumi, the activist judge who delayed Act 10 for months, the unionistas will at least make the ideological agenda absolutely clear. 

Even so, conservatives need to realize that once again, this will be an election for all the marbles.


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