Millions are being poured into the supreme court race in Wisconsin from donors involved with promoting election disinformation and attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The stakes in the judicial race are monstrous.
More than $3.9 million has been pumped into the crucial race, by both individuals and groups who are election deniers. It’s all to support conservative candidate Daniel Kelly.
The contributions come amid a race that has broken national campaign spending records.
Among the election-denying funders behind Kelly’s run are anti-abortion think tanks and Super Pacs, conservative billionaires, and a constellation of groups funded by the Wisconsin shipping supply tycoon Richard Uihlein.
The stakes are enormous for the closely-watched race.
The Wisconsin supreme court is currently made up of three judges who lean liberal and four conservatives. Whoever replaces the conservative retiring justice Patience Roggensack will determine the ideological composition of the court, which has been dominated by the right-wing for 15 years.
At stake in the Wisconsin supreme court race are redistricting, abortion rights, voting rights, and elections policy. And these decisions go beyond the state.
Wisconsin has been a critical swing state in recent presidential elections, so its voting policies affect more than just state residents.
Few state supreme courts across the country have played as powerful a role in shaping high-profile laws in recent years as the Wisconsin supreme court has.
The court has frequently decided election disputes in the state, where contests are regularly decided by razor-thin margins.
In 2020, it narrowly rejected a request from Donald Trump’s campaign to consider throwing out enough mail-in votes to overturn the election results.
Experts say that Wisconsin has been the tipping point state in the last two presidential elections.