Reframing judicial elections — not “who should we elect,” but “why should we elect them at all?”
This opinion piece originally appeared on The Fulcrum.
The nation is watching Wisconsin as a state Supreme Court race with major implications for democratic outcomes—at both state and national levels—becomes an all-out spending war on behalf of the liberal and conservative candidates. No one expects the record-breaking spending or heated partisan rhetoric to die down until the race in this crucial swing state is decided.
Yet while coverage of this race makes clear the public distaste for the polarization of an ostensibly nonpartisan position, few articles have been written about the systems in play that have driven up the stakes and rhetoric to a once-unimaginable degree. The framing should not be “which candidate will come out on top” but “why do we elect judges in the first place?”