Former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Daniel Kelly, who lost the election for the state court Tuesday, called his liberal opponent Janet Protasiewicz a “serial liar” and “not a worthy opponent” in his concession speech.
“I wish that in a circumstance like this I would be able to concede to a worthy opponent. But I do not have a worthy opponent,” Kelly said Tuesday night after losing by 11 percent in a race that will give the state’s Supreme Court a left-wing majority.
Protasiewicz is a Milwaukee Circuit Court judge who faced criticism in the campaign for giving light sentences to violent criminals. The race centered around the abortion issue, with Protasiewicz calling the state’s ban on abortion “draconian” and running ads on the issue. She received big donations from Democratic megadonor George Soros and llinois governor J.B. Pritzker (D.)
Kelly, who served on the court from 2016 to 2020, called the tactics used in the race “beneath contempt.”
“This was the most deeply deceitful, dishonorable, despicable campaign I have ever seen run for the courts,” Kelly said.
He noted he did not raise his concerns because of his loss but because of “the damage done to the institution of the Court.”
Republicans have already discussed impeaching Protasiewicz. State representative Dan Knodl, who won reelection Tuesday, said the Republicans’ two-thirds majority in the state Senate would allow for impeachment and removal of judges. He said such powers “certainly would be tested.”
“She’s disregarded judicial ethics, she’s demeaned the judiciary with her behavior,” Kelly said. “This is the future we have to look forward to in Wisconsin.”