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Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court justice says she won't run again, setting up fight for control

Wisconsin Supreme Court
Posted at 10:40 AM, Apr 11, 2024

MADISON (AP) — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced Thursday that she will not seek another term, setting up a high-stakes fight for control of the battleground state's highest court.

Bradley, who is part of the court's 4-3 liberal majority, said she felt confident she could win a fourth 10-year term but that it was time to "pass the torch." Her term will end July 31, 2025.

The election for the open seat will be held next April. Brad Schimel, the former Republican attorney general, announced in November that he plans to run.

The race was already expected to be heated, but Bradley's departure makes it an open race.

"My decision has not come lightly," Bradley said in a statement. "It is made after careful consideration and reflection."

Liberals hold a majority thanks to Janet Protasiewicz's victory in 2023 over former Justice Dan Kelly.

The court has made several key rulings since liberals gained control, including a December decision overturning Republican-drawn maps of the state's legislative districts.

Abortion was also a central topic during Protasiewicz's race and the court has since been asked to consider two challenges to a decades-old state law that conservatives have interpreted as banning abortion.