Liberal majority in Wisconsin’s new Supreme Court likely to reshape state’s abortion and election laws | WLUK

(WLUK) — The state’s Supreme Court will have a liberal majority for the first time in 15 years.

With Janet Protasiewicz sworn in as Wisconsin’s newest Supreme Court Justice Tuesday, expectations are high that the new court will eliminate the state’s current abortion ban, order new district maps and change rules for voting and elections.

But it may be a while before Wisconsin’s new Supreme Court weighs in on some high-profile topics.

However, there is already a pending case challenging the state’s 1849 abortion ban.

“That’ll take up the question of whether it’s valid under our state constitution,” said U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin.

During her campaign, Protasiewicz was announcing in ads that she supports abortion rights.

Her win will give Democratic-backed justices a 4-3 majority, almost guaranteeing an overturn to the state’s abortion ban.

Gracie Skogman, with Wisconsin Right to Life, says abortion-rights opponents are concerned.

“The current ban on abortion has been life-saving, we have met children that are here today because of that law,” said Skogman.

But Sen. Baldwin says it’s an important case.

“That’s something that is very significant to people in the state who want to see rights and freedoms restored,” said Baldwin.

On top of the abortion lawsuit, a new case challenging the GOP-drawn legislative and congressional district maps is expected to be filed within weeks.

“Every 10 years, districts in the state have to be changed to account for population shifts so that the districts are relatively the same population size,” said David Helpap, professor of political science at UW-Green Bay.

Helpap says how the lines are drawn can greatly impact who eventually gets elected within those districts.

“Wisconsin has sort of ground zero in terms of what does redistricting look like, how partisan can districts be,” said Helpap.

“They are going to be ordered redrawn, 4-3,” said Jerald Podiar, history professor at Lawrence University.

Podiar believes we can expect to see the Supreme Court take on the higher-profile cases, like abortion and redistricting, within a matter of months, and the other cases, like voting procedures, by the end of next year.

“Wisconsinites want rulings on this,” said Podiar. “These are pressing matters and you can’t drag an election case on after the election, so you got to hear it. I would say most or all of these issues will be before the Supreme Court before November 2024.”

Source: Liberal majority in Wisconsin’s new Supreme Court likely to reshape state’s abortion and election laws | WLUK

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