State Supreme Court candidate says judiciary is on ‘wrong track,’ prioritizing politics over law

Judge Jill Karofsky announces candidacy
Jill Karofsky
Judge Jill Karofsky

A former local and state prosecutor and executive director of the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services announced she will run for election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the April 2020 election.

Judge Jill Karofsky announced her candidacy Thursday. She said she feels America is on the “wrong track” because the judiciary is becoming increasingly politicized and the rule of the law is being ignored for partisan reasons.

“The American judicial system is built on independent judges, not a system in which you decide what political team you’re on,” Karofsky wrote in the announcement. “We can see the corroding effect of big money on our judicial system, and it’s time to restore a sense of justice and honor to our legal system. I will follow the law, and I will protect our Wisconsin values.”

Karofsky is running for the seat currently held by conservative Justice Dan Kelly. Kelly is part of what will soon be a 5-2 conservative majority once Justice-elect Brian Hagedorn joins the court in August. Marquette University Law School professor Ed Fallone is also running.

Karofsky said the country should not move backward when it comes to civil rights.

“We can’t go backwards, and it’s distressing to me that rather than respecting our rights, we now see a moment in which political forces seek to roll back the advances in civil rights we’ve made in the last few generations,” Karofsky wrote.

She added that more than anything, courts are about constitutional rights.

“We will serve the needs of crime victims, we will stand up for racial justice and civil rights, we will protect the right to marriage equality, and we will never allow for the rights of women to be rolled back,” Karofsky wrote.

Karofsky won election to the Dane County court in 2017. She was endorsed by former Democratic Govs. Jim Doyle and Tony Earl in that race.

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