This segment aired on Your Call with Rose Aguilar on KALW Radio on April 5, 2023.
Jake Faleschini, legal director of state courts and program director for justice at Alliance for Justice: Look at the results in Wisconsin, which show that for the election yesterday, we’re expecting the total voter turnout for registered voters in Wisconsin to be close to 40%. That greatly outpaces even the highest turnout in any other state supreme court election in history in Wisconsin. I think the next highest was 34% in 2011. And we saw a huge influx of money that went into educating voters about the importance of that race and their need to get out and vote, and their rights that were at stake.
If at the end of the day, the money that’s pouring into these elections is used to educate voters about why these races are so important, their rights that are at stake, and why they should be voting in these elections, then I don’t see that as a bad thing. But if this money is unconstrained and it’s being used to manipulate voters and is used to further negative messaging and advertising, then it can be a bad thing. So I think it’s really complicated, and we need to be careful how we as a public are stepping into these state supreme court elections and electing justices, but I don’t necessarily think that just electing justices is a bad thing…
It’s scary what’s happening, and I think most Americans feel that way. They feel like their rights are at stake. They feel like protections that they’ve had for decades are being stripped away by an unresponsive and political Supreme Court. That scares a lot of people, and the result in Wisconsin shows that they’re ready to fight back.