Progressive Judge Susan Crawford Announces Run for Wisconsin Supreme Court


Judge Susan Crawford, known for her liberal stance, has announced her candidacy for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, aiming to succeed the court’s longest-serving current justice.

Crawford, who currently serves at the Dane County Circuit Court, intends to replace Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, a liberal-leaning member of the Wisconsin high court for nearly 30 years. This campaign could potentially alter the court’s ideological balance.

“I am running for Supreme Court justice to protect the basic rights and freedoms of Wisconsinites under our constitution. Those rights are threatened by an all-out effort to politicize the court to drive a right-wing agenda — I believe Wisconsin deserves better,” Crawford stated.

This photo provided by Susan Crawford for Wisconsin, Dane County Circuit Judge Susan Crawford, a former attorney for a Democratic governor, entered the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with majority control of the battleground state’s highest court on the line, on Monday, June 10, 2024, in Madison, Wisconsin. (Maddy Pritzl/Susan Crawford for Wisconsin via AP)

Crawford’s legal career includes significant work on voting rights cases and representing Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in efforts to expand abortion access in the state.

Her opponent, conservative Waukesha County Circuit Judge Brad Schimel, is a former Republican state attorney general known for his opposition to abortion, as reported by the Associated Press. So far, they are the only two candidates, but others have until Jan. 1, 2025, to enter the race.

Should more candidates emerge, a primary will be held on Feb. 18, with the general election set for April 1, 2025. The victor will serve a 10-year term.

Justice Bradley announced her retirement earlier this year, paving the way for this election. In 2023, Justice Janet Protasiewicz’s victory over former state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly marked the first time in 15 years that liberals gained control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The 2023 state Supreme Court election was notably the costliest in state history, with a total expenditure of $51.06 million by all parties involved.

Democrats are anticipated to spotlight abortion access in Crawford’s campaign, mirroring their strategy with Protasiewicz in 2023. In September, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin restarted abortion services in Madison after a ruling that the 1849 abortion ban applied to feticide, not consensual abortion. Subsequently, services resumed in Milwaukee and Sheboygan counties, though legal challenges concerning elective abortions persist.

Since Protasiewicz’s court-shifting victory, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Republican-drawn legislative maps and is reconsidering a case to reinstate ballot drop boxes.

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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