By Steve Schuster
Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative candidate Dan Kelly received an endorsement from the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Annette Ziegler on Monday.
“Having served with Justice Dan Kelly for four years, I know firsthand his commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the judicial branch of our government does not overstep the bounds placed on us by our Constitution,” Ziegler said.
Acknowledging the endorsement, Kelly said, “I am honored to have the endorsement of the Chief Justice as well as jurists across Wisconsin, all of whom are dedicated to the Constitution and the rule of law.”
The endorsement comes in the wake of a Wisconsin State Journal’s opinion column which said of the 32 published Kelly opinions when he was previously on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, 21 drew at least one dissenting opinion, several stemmed from fellow conservative justices.
“Kelly’s opinions draw dissents not just because of ideological or political differences, but because of the poorly reasoned and irresponsible nature of his judging,” the editorial said.
“Kelly’s colleagues on the state Supreme Court pinpoint basic judicial errors, such as misreading simple language in a statute, ignoring straightforward statutory interpretations in favor of tortured ones, and misapplying judicial precedent,” the editorial added.
Five dissents stemmed from fellow conservative Justice Patience Roggensack, the column states.
In one case when Kelly overturned a Circuit Court decision, Roggensack said, “Structural error is not a ‘legal rabbit’ that a court can pull out of its hat, and thereby avoid a thorough examination of the record and the legal principles that must be reviewed when a parent’s rights are terminated. Yet, that is just what the majority opinion has done today when it creates this new structural error, never before recognized by the United States Supreme Court or by this court.”
The endorsement also comes in the wake of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial “Dan Kelly’s role in conspiracy to overturn 2020 election makes him unfit to serve on Wisconsin Supreme Court.”
As previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, Kelly posted a video on Twitter of himself standing side-by-side with conservative activist Scott Presler and thanking him for his work. Presler, a Virginia native, planned several “stop the steal” rallies in addition to being on the Capitol grounds the day of the insurrection. Presler also described the siege on the Capitol as “the largest civil rights protest in American history.” The Associated Press wrote that Kelly was “OK” with January 6.
“President Trump’s conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election culminated in violence, as the hallowed halls of our United States capital were invaded by insurrectionists. Law enforcement officers died. Dozens were wounded. The peaceful transition of power that has held fast since the Civil War was sullied – but not broken. This conspiracy continues to be an existential threat to our nation. The question is: are we going to remain a democracy, or are we going to become an authoritarian state? In my view, the risk is that grave,” the Journal Sentinel wrote.
“I believe we all have a patriotic and moral obligation to vote against candidates who have helped this conspiracy along, even if we are not fully comfortable with their opponent or would not vote for them otherwise. Kelly helped this conspiracy along, working to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. That is not “conservative,” and it is not American. Kelly is unfit to serve on our highest court. I hope you join me in voting for Janet Protasiewicz on April 4,” the editorial stated.
In Kelly’s response to Ziegler’s endorsement, he also said, “Wisconsin jurists know my history of carefully and faithfully applying the law, as well as my enduring commitment to the humble role our Constitution assigns to the judiciary.”
Kelly’s campaign did not respond to the Wisconsin Law Journal’s request for an interview.
To view all of Kelly’s endorsements click here.