Swing State Supreme Court Justice Won’t Seek Reelection, Opens Door For Conservative Majority
Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin
Credit: Henryk Sadura via Getty Images.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s announcement on Thursday that she will not seek another term gives conservatives an opportunity to overturn the court’s 4-3 liberal majority, the Associated Press reported.

Bradley has sat on the state’s Supreme Court since 1995 and is currently serving her third 10-year term. She was reelected with almost 60% of the vote in 2015, but has decided to not seek a fourth term  in order to “pass the torch.”

“My decision has not come lightly. It is made after careful consideration and reflection. I know I can do the job and do it well. I know I can win re-election, should I run. But, it’s just time to pass the torch, bring fresh perspectives to the court,” Bradley said in a statement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Bradley’s term will end in July 2025, and the election to choose her replacement will take place in April of that year. Republican Brad Schimel, who served as attorney general of Wisconsin from 2015 to 2019, announced In November 2023 that he would run for the seat.

“There is no check on this new liberal Supreme Court majority,” Schimel said after announcing his candidacy. “The only check on them is to take back the majority by winning in 2025.”

Liberals gained a majority on the court after Janet Protasiewicz won the election in April 2023, ending 15 years of conservative control, the AP noted.

Just months later, the court struck down the state’s legislative maps, with the liberal justices arguing that the current maps violated the state’s constitution and needed to be redrawn. The decision was celebrated by Democrats, who have claimed that the legislative maps in the state were rigged, while Republicans said that the liberal justices had decided the case before it was brought.

Protasiewicz, who was backed by George Soros, campaigned for the court on the platform that the maps were “rigged” and “unfair.” Leftist groups challenged the Wisconsin maps a day after Protasiewicz was sworn into office.


The state legislature is currently controlled by Republicans, who nearly have a supermajority in the Senate and are just two seats away from a veto-proof majority in the Assembly. However, Wisconsin is considered to be one of the most hotly contested battleground states in the 2024 presidential election. As of Friday, former President Donald Trump holds a slim lead over President Joe Biden in the state, according to the RCP polling average.

Leif Le Mahieu contributed to this report.

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