Conservative Groups and Donors Impact Nonpartisan Appeals Court Race
UW-Green Bay Prof. Aaron Weinschenk talked with UpNorthNews last week about partisan and nonpartisan politics.
No state Supreme Court race this year, but tens of thousands of dollars and high-profile endorsements are flying in two down-ballot races in next week’s election.The likes of former Gov. Scott Walker, likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, and conservative megadonors Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein are leaving their marks on next week’s Appeals Court races, injecting a significant level of partisan politics and funding into what are officially nonpartisan elections.This seepage of partisanship has been going on for years in higher court elections. But the rhetoric and funding is trickling down into lower races, a trend that is emblematic of the nation’s increasing political polarization and the ongoing right-wing effort to control the nation’s courts.Visible partisanship in court races is not necessarily an inherently bad thing because it can in some ways help voters identify judges who align with their views, experts told UpNorthNews, but it nonetheless can tarnish the judicial branch’s reputation as fair and impartial.