Waukesha Christmas Parade Trial Judge Enters Race for Wisconsin Supreme Court

by Benjamin Yount


The judge who oversaw the Waukesha Christmas Parade trial is jumping into the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Judge Jennifer Dorow on Wednesday made the official announcement that she is running in the spring election.

“Justice [Paige] Roggensack’s decision to retire leaves behind a legacy of excellence and large shoes to fill,” Dorow told reporters at the Waukesha County Courthouse.

Dorow is a Republican, she was first appointed to the bench by former Gov. Scott Walker.

She’s already facing the conservative, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly in the race.

“We must replace Justice Roggensack with a judicial conservative who will fairly and faithfully apply the law, as written, to the facts of the cases that come before the court,” Dorow explained.

Dorow called the spring election “one of the most important elections for Wisconsin in recent history.”

Kelly, agrees.

He said liberal judges want to retake the court, and change its focus from interpreting the law to creating the law.

“They aim to reinvent our Supreme Court as a haven for judicial activism where they can impose their political agenda on our state, all while denying your right to steward Wisconsin’s public policy through your legislators,” Kelly wrote in an op-ed he released Tuesday.

Kelly served on the Supreme Court for four years, from 2016 til 2020. He lost his re-election bid in the spring of 2020 during an election that coincided with the state’s presidential primary. Former Gov. Walker said Kelly may have won that race had Democrats not gamed the primary to keep Bernie Sanders on the ballot, and boost voter turnout.

Kelly said the next election will be paramount.

“We can’t pursue happiness, or exercise our liberties, if judicial activists take over the Supreme Court and interfere with efforts to make our communities safe and free,” Kelly added.

The liberal candidates for the court criticized both Dorow and Kelly after Dorow’s announcement.

“Judge Janet brings a common sense approach to the bench and she will vigorously defend our constitutional freedoms and women’s right to make her own decision when it comes to abortion,” a spokesman for Judge Janet Protasiewicz said Tuesday. “Judge Janet provides a clear contrast with right-wing extremists like Jennifer Dorow and Dan Kelly, who are both radically out of touch with the concerns of Wisconsinites.”

“Judge Mitchell knows the people of Wisconsin deserve a Supreme Court that reflects the diversity of thought and experience that our state has. Judge Mitchell will be a Supreme Court Justice who is thoughtful, tough, and fair. Walker-appointees like Dorow and Kelly will be conservative activists determined to take our state backwards,” a spokesperson for Judge Everett Mitchell said in a statement of their own on Tuesday.

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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Jennifer Dorow” by State Bar of Wisconsin. Background Photo “Wisconsin Supreme Court” by Daderot. CC0 1.0.




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