The Koch brothers funded the Republican takeover of Wisconsin in 2010 and the election of Scott Walker as governor. Walker quickly cracked down on unions and stripped them of their rights. He pushed vouchers. He attacked Wisconsin’s great public university system. Meanwhile, the Republican legislature gerrymandered the state to guarantee control of the legislature. The state is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, but Republicans control both houses of the legislature.

That is why many observers considered the election of a new State Supreme Court to be the most important election in the nation. After the retirement of a Republican justice, the Court was split 3-3.

A liberal—Janet Protasiewicz—ran against a conservative—Dan Kelly. The liberal won. This means that the Court will have a Democratic majority.

The two biggest issues likely to be resolved by the Court are abortion rights and gerrymandering. The new Court now has the votes to restore abortion rights that were withdrawn by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs decision. It is likely that a lawsuit will challenge the deeply unfair gerrymandering of the state, and the new majority is sure to insist on a fair reapportionment.

A great day for democracy!