Parade killings judge running for Wisconsin Supreme Court

Nov 28, 2022, 9:00 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2022, 5:32 pm
Judge Jennifer R. Dorow presides over a hearing for Darrell Brooks Jr. Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 in Wau...

Judge Jennifer R. Dorow presides over a hearing for Darrell Brooks Jr. Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 in Waukesha County Court in Waukesha, Wis. Judge Dorow said Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 that she will make a decision on whether to run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court “in the coming days.” (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

(Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The judge who presided over the trial of the man convicted of killing six people during the Waukesha Christmas parade is running for a spot on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, her husband said Tuesday. The race will determine the ideological balance of the court.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow is the second conservative candidate to enter the race, which also has two liberal judges running. The winner will replace a retiring conservative justice who is part of a 4-3 majority. Liberals are prioritizing the race as a way to flip control of the court heading into the 2024 presidential election in the battleground state.

“It’s official,” her husband Brian Dorow said Tuesday. “She’s in the race.”

Jennifer Dorow planned to hold an event launching her candidacy on Wednesday, Brian Dorow said.

Jennifer Dorow did a round of television interviews on Monday where she described the fan mail she received during the Darrell Brooks parade killings trial, which began in early October. Brooks was convicted of killing six people when he drove his SUV through the parade crowd, and two weeks ago Dorow sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of release.

Dorow told WTMJ-TV on Monday that she has “been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement to consider a run for the Supreme Court.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has been bitterly partisan for more than a decade, with conservatives in control during that period. The court ruled on several major policy disputes, including upholding Republican-drawn legislative maps for the heavily gerrymandered state and banning absentee ballot drop boxes. Several major cases are expected to head before the court next year, including a challenge to Wisconsin’s 173-year-old law banning abortion.

In 2020, the court did reject a challenge by Donald Trump aiming to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden in the state. But both sides are girding for more election-related lawsuits surrounding the 2024 election.

Dane County Circuit Judge Everett Mitchell and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, both liberals, are running, as is Dan Kelly, a conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. A Feb. 21 primary will narrow the field to two finalists for the April 4 election. The winner will take the seat in August.

Kelly, who was endorsed by then-President Donald Trump in his failed 2020 race for state Supreme Court, issued a statement encouraging voters to “consider each candidate carefully,” but he didn’t directly address Dorow’s candidacy.

Protasiewicz will offer a sharp contrast to Dorow and Kelly, who are “right-wing extremists” and “radically out of touch,” said her campaign manager, Alejandro Verdin. Mitchell did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler branded Dorow as an “extremist.” He cited her calling the U.S. Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas ruling from 2003, which struck down sodomy laws criminalizing same-sex intimacy, as “a prime example of judicial activism at its worst.”

Dorow made that comment in her application to then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, for appointment to the Waukesha County court in 2011, according to Wisconsin Justice Initiative, which compiles and posts materials submitted by those seeking judicial appointments.

Dorow, 51, is a former criminal defense attorney who has been elected twice since her appointment and is active in the Republican Party in Waukesha County, a longtime GOP stronghold.

Dorow, has never run for a statewide office before, unlike Kelly, the other conservative candidate. Kelly was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2016 by Walker, whose son Alex is running Kelly’s campaign.

Kelly ran for a full term in 2020, but lost in an election when liberal turnout was high because it included the Democratic presidential primary.

Fair Courts America, a group funded by billionaire GOP megadonor Richard Uihlein, plans to spend millions of dollars to back Kelly, the group’s spokesman, Dan Curry, said this month.

“Dorow’s lack of a proven record on key issues raises too many questions,” Curry said Tuesday.

Mitchell and Protasiewicz have been raising money and campaigning for months.

Protasiewicz has lined up more than 800 endorsements, including that of liberal state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet. Mitchell has the backing of former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, along with dozens of others largely in the Madison area, including the Dane County sheriff, county executive and Madison police chief.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Signage outside PayPal headquarters in San Jose, Calif., is pictured on March 10, 2015. PayP...
Associated Press

PayPal to cut 2,000 jobs in latest tech company cost-cutting

PayPal said Tuesday it will trim about 7% of its total workforce, or about 2,000 full-time workers
9 hours ago
FILE - Ukrainian soldiers fire a Pion artillery system at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Donetsk r...
Associated Press

Russian arms dealer, son and front firms hit with sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian arms dealer, his son, a group of front companies across Asia, Europe and the Middle East and their leadership have been targeted for U.S. sanctions in an effort to quell Russia’s access to weapons as it continues its invasion of Ukraine. Russian arms dealer Igor Zimenkov, his son and companies […]
1 day ago
Apple senior vice president of services Eddy Cue, right, speaks next to Major League Soccer Commiss...
Associated Press

Apple embraces potential of sports streaming with MLS deal

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — After taking its first dip into sports streaming last year, Apple is now immersing itself. The tech giant kicked off a 10-year partnership with Major League Soccer on Wednesday with the launch of Season Pass on Apple TV+. “This is very important for us. It is one of the key things […]
1 day ago
FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google. It didn’t take long for Sloan, author of the bestseller “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore,” to realize that the technology was of little use to […]
1 day ago
FILE - Al-Shabab fighters conduct military exercise in northern Mogadishu's Suqaholaha neighborhood...
Associated Press

Regional heads plan joint push against al-Shabab in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The leaders of Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya have agreed on a joint “search and destroy” military campaign against the Somali al-Shabab Islamic militant group that has carried out attacks in the region — including firing mortars near the meeting venue in Mogadishu before officials gathered Wednesday. In a joint communique […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ukraine hails French gift of radar as ‘cherry on the cake’

LIMOURS, France (AP) — Ukraine’s defense minister said Wednesday that Ukrainian lives will be saved by a sophisticated air-defense radar that France is supplying and which is powerful enough to spot incoming missiles and exploding drones in the skies over all of Ukraine’s capital and its surrounding region. The minister, Oleksii Reznikov, was so enthusiastic […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Parade killings judge running for Wisconsin Supreme Court