WAUKESHA, Wis. (NBC 26) — It was the most talked about and publicized court case in Wisconsin this year, the trial of Darrell Brooks. One of the many faces of the trial was Judge Jennifer Dorow.
For the first time since Brooks was sentenced, Judge Dorow address the media, not to discuss the details of the case, due to the pending appeal by Brooks, but to discuss the community's reaction to the trial and her potential run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
In a one-on-one interview with Judge Dorow, NBC 26 asked what it was like to take on such an enormous case that had garnered nationwide attention.
"I wish I could answer that but due to my ethical constraints, I'm really not going to talk about specifics related to the case what I can say is this; I approach every case really the same way and that is to be prepared to honor and follow the law," says Judge Dorow. "It's really the idea that everyone who comes before a judge feels heard and should be treated with dignity and respect no matter who they are or no matter what they are accused of doing. And, for that judge when making a decision I want people to know not only what my decision is but why I've made it."
One of the most talked about details of the case was the public's perception of Judge Dorow's patience with Brooks in the courtroom.
Judge Dorow says her family has helped develop the level of patience needed in the courtroom.
"Of course, I think being a mom helps with that. Being a wife helps with that as well but really I go to my roots I grew up in a very strong Christian home I believe in the power of prayer and centering myself each and every day with reading my bible and through prayer that's how I got through, and how I get through any day," says Judge Dorow.
"The bottom line is, we're in a courtroom where courtesy and decorum are so very important and if I as a judge don't emulate that and don't set the standard then how can I expect those in front of me to follow that same standard?"
Since the trial ended, Dorrow says, the appreciation from the Waukesha community has been visible at every turn.
"It's been intersteing. I've gone out to dinner a couple of times and one time I got applause another time they were like, 'hey can we buy you a drink?' I said, 'no you can't buy me a drink but thank you'. People want to take my picture and it's overwhelming and I have such a sense of gratitude," she adds.
NBC 26 asked Judge Dorow about the rumors of her running for State Supreme Court and her plans for the future.
"First of all, I have been overwhelmed with people reaching out and the support and encouragement. Being on the Supreme Court is certainly something I've had aspirations of previously. I've never jumped into to an election in the past and so I have a strong sense of duty to my state," Judge Dorow says of a possible run for the State Supreme Court seat.
"It certainly would be an honor and a privilege and something I will really be focusing in on in the next couple of days."
The State Supreme Court race is important for both sides as the winner will determine the balance of power of the court, which is currently controlled 4-3 by conservatives. Justice Patience Roggensack is retiring, creating that open seat.