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Wisconsinites vote tomorrow in an election that will determine the ideological balance of the state’s Supreme Court. The result could put at risk many of Wisconsin’s recent victories for worker freedom.

On April 4th, voters will choose between former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly or Milwaukee County judge Janet Protasiewicz to fill the seat of retiring Justice Pat Roggensack. Although the elections are officially nonpartisan, Kelly is considered a conservative jurist while Protasiewicz is radically liberal. A victory by Protasiewicz would flip the current conservative majority on the court to a new liberal majority, raising the possibility of pro-union boss, anti-worker rulings.

Protasiewicz has already announced her opposition to Wisconsin’s 2011 Act 10, which she argues is unconstitutional. Among other provisions, Act 10 limited public-sector collective bargaining to issues of wages and required public employees to contribute toward their own pensions. As of 2022, the law has resulted in more than $15 billion in savings to the Wisconsin taxpayer, according to the MacIver Institute.

After years of litigation, in 2014 the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on a 5-2 vote that Act 10 does not violate the state constitution. Despite this strong majority decision to uphold the law, Protasiewicz appears to have pre-judged the matter. Notably, the Wisconsin judicial code makes clear that a judicial candidate is prohibited from “making statements that commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court.”

Also at risk are the Right to Work measure passed in 2015 and the ban on project labor agreement (PLA) mandates passed in 2017 under former Governor Scott Walker. The Right to Work law protects workers from being forced to join and pay into unions, while the ban on PLA mandates allows nonunion firms to compete for government contracts on an equal playing field with unionized firms, saving taxpayer money in the process.

Protasiewicz has publicly labeled the current Wisconsin legislative maps, which give Republicans a majority in the state legislature, as “rigged” and “a problem.” She desires to pursue a redistricting strategy through the courts which would flip many state legislative seats in favor of the Democrats. In doing so, all recent conservative, pro-worker victories in the state––including Right to Work, the ban on PLA mandates, and Act 10––would be at risk of being overturned.

When Wisconsinites vote on Tuesday, worker freedom and taxpayer protection are on the ballot.