Judge Jennifer Dorow considering run for state Supreme Court
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A day after Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow ended the most publicized case of her career to date, rumors were circling about her next steps, and whether they may include a run for state Supreme Court.
Sources tell us yes, Judge Jennifer Dorow is considering a run for the state Supreme Court. The upcoming election is an important one. Right now, the makeup is four conservatives and three liberals, but one conservative is stepping down -- leaving the balance of power this spring up for grabs in a time when Wisconsin has a lot at stake.
Fan mail for Judge Jennifer Dorow flooded the Waukesha County courthouse from all over the world during the live-streamed three-and-a-half week Darryl Brooks trial.
"Publicity that she has received is kind of off the charts for a judge in any situation," said Paul Farrow, Wisconsin republican party chairman.
The state republican party has also been inundated.
"We've received hundreds of emails to our office over the last month of support for what she's doing," said Farrow.
Supporters have made it known; they'd like Dorow to fill the seat being vacated by Justice Patience Roggensack.
"When you have a conservative seat up in this upcoming election in April, it means that the stakes are gonna be extremely high," said Anthony Chergosky, assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.
The state's highest court could see a lot of high-profile cases in the next year -- including reproductive issues, redistricting and political gerrymandering.
"There could be challenges to it and a new court could determine that everything should be redrawn," said Farrow.
"There will be some very important decisions that come down regarding the validity of the 1849 abortion ban," said Chergosky.
"When you have a governor and legislature that cannot get along and cannot work together, then a lot of disputes end up getting resolved by the courts. Dysfunction in the other two branches of government really empowers the courts and gives the courts an important role in state government," said Farrow.
There is already a conservative candidate in the race -- Daniel Kelly. He served as a Supreme Court justice, but was defeated in 2020. He'll give it another go. For now, the state GOP party chairman wouldn't support one over the other, saying we'll see how things shake out in the primary.
"It's very different to go from a high-profile trial to a million-dollar campaign for state Supreme Court. That is quite a pivot that would be demanded of the judge," said Chergosky.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz has already declared her candidacy and sent us a statement saying "The court is likely to address issues like reproductive freedom, democracy, and the right to education, and we don't need any judge who will be looking to Mar-A-Lago for direction. Jennifer Dorow and Dan Kelly are cut from the same extremist right-wing cloth, which started at Regent University and continues through being active partisan republicans today. Neither are fit to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court," said Alejandro Verdin, campaign manager for Judge Janet Protasiewicz.
There is one other liberal candidate in the race. It is Dane County Circuit Court Judge Everett Mitchell.