Three candidates for state Supreme Court discuss their experience, values

The three candidates in the Wisconsin Supreme Court primary (WSAW).

WISCONSIN (WSAW) -- The Wisconsin primary is coming up in just two days. On your ballot will be three candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court. One of them, Justice Daniel Kelly, holds the position now.

Supreme Court justice Daniel Kelly will try to keep his seat as he's challenged by Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky.

He was appointed to the court by Governor Scott Walker in 2016, with decades of legal experience.

"I've reviewed thousands of our fellow Wisconsinites' cases. I've heard hundreds of oral arguments, and I've written opinions of some of the state's most consequential cases," said Justice Kelly.

Ed Fallone teaches at Marquette University Law School. He has advocated for Wisconsin's Latino community, and if elected, would be the first Latino on the state Supreme Court. He skyped in to talk about the experience he brings.

"As a constitutional law professor, and someone who spent over 25 years in the nonprofit sector helping working families get affordable lawyers, I think I have a perspective that's needed on our state's highest court," said Fallone.

Jill Karofsky is a judge in Dane County Circuit Court who's also advocated for victim's rights as director of the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services.

"I'm the only person in this race who is or has ever been a trial court judge. I sit in court almost every day. Last year, I heard over 1,700 cases," Karofsky said.

Karofsky and Fallone are backed by liberal-leaning groups. It’s a nonpartisan election, but each brings their perspective on how to read the constitution.

"We have to interpret it with today in mind. We are not in the late 1700s anymore. In the late 1700s, African Americans were only counted as three fifths of a person. Women weren't able to vote," saod Karofsky.

"I think it's important to keep politics out of our court system, and one way to do that is to have judges who will respect precedent, unlike Daniel Kelly," said Fallone.

Justice Kelly has tended to vote with the conservative majority of the court.

"We don't legislate from the bench, we don't ignore laws, we don't play favorites with the law. We simply apply the law as we receive it to the cases in front of us, come to our judgment," he said when asked about his rulings.

The two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election on April 7th. When elected, justices serve a 10-year term on the court.