Wisconsin conservatives cement outsize power in a state that went blue just last year

Wisconsin voters listen to now-Gov. Tony Evers during his 2018 race.

Democrats nationwide should pay attention to the results of the state-level election.

Wisconsin Democrats’ winning streak abruptly ended this week with a state Supreme Court election that likely means mean Republicans will have outsize power in the state for many years ahead.

On Wednesday, liberal Lisa Neubauer conceded the race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat to conservative Brian Hagedorn, cementing Republicans’ control of the state’s top court until at least 2023. The outcome of this race is of major consequence to Democratic leaders in the state, who, after ousting Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November in a major victory, saw the state’s Republican legislature strip powers from elected Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in a lame-duck session.

For the past four months since taking power, Democrats have had to fight in the courts for their right to govern. They’ve had some big wins in the lower courts, but this state Supreme Court race is a major defeat.

In January, a federal judge struck down Wisconsin Republicans’ law restricting early voting, a key component of the bills Walker signed in his last days in office. And in March, a state circuit court judge ruled unconstitutional the laws Republicans passed curbing Evers’s ability to change policies around welfare, health care, and economic development; stripping him of key appointments; and limiting the attorney general’s powers. Republican state leaders promised to appeal the ruling and take it to the state’s Supreme Court, which is now firmly in the hands of conservatives.

At its core, this is a story about power grabs. Despite losing the popular vote in 2018, Wisconsin Republicans still control both chambers of the state legislature and five of its eight congressional seats; it’s the product of some aggressive gerrymandering that diverges from the state’s reputation as a political battleground. There was hope …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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