The primary for an open Wisconsin Supreme court race is shaping up to be the Goldilocks race, with Milwaukee County Judge Rebecca Dallet positioning herself to be “just right” between conservative Judge Michael Screnock and unabashedly liberal candidate Tim Burns. However, as Burns moves farther left, Dallet is seemingly following suit, or exposing her true ideology, judging by the people with whom she surrounds herself and other metrics.
Judicial candidates traditionally resist speaking on ideological issues, in the event they may later have to recuse themselves from ruling on an issue. Attorney Tim Burns has tossed out that convention entirely. Burns has made himself the clear liberal candidate, as he has criticized Governor Walker’s past policies such as Act 10, and claimed that “a non-partisan judiciary is a fairy tale, and it always has been,” during a radio interview with WORT 89.9 FM. Taking it even further, the Journal Sentinel reported that Burns has said that if elected, he would be:
“an unshakable champion of liberal, Democratic, and progressive values.” Burns has unabashedly vowed to grant new rights to previously unforeseen victims, saying “if expanding rights is ‘legislating from the bench,’ count me in.”
While Burns makes no attempt to conceal his liberal views, Judge Rebecca Dallet seems to be trying to position herself as middle ground between Burns and Screnock, as Capitol reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal Molly Beck quoted Dallet in a Tweet:
.@judgedallet: "One calls me too liberal and one calls me too conservative. It looks like I'm the only judge (at the table)."
— Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) January 23, 2018
However, Dallet seems to be shifting closer to Burns as the primary draws nearer. In the same radio interview, she expressed her negative opinions on Act 10 and the John Doe investigations:
“Act 10, I think the court got it wrong.”“The John Doe case… that case involved the coordination of special interest dark money with politics, and the court did not even let the investigation go forward.”
LOL. I'm sure she thought the same about John Podesta's stolen emails. Leah Vukmir – No Character, No Honor, Pure Evil. https://t.co/yyXUnLoAwq
— Sachin Chheda (@skchheda) January 23, 2018
Chheda’s Twitter feed matches much of the far liberal views Burns has been presenting, belying Dallet’s moderate posturing. Also labeled as having “no character and no honor,” Chheda criticized Sen. Ron Johnson in another tweet:
Ron Johnson has embarrassed Wisconsin in multiple ways today. He has no character and no honor. He’s a coward and he’s dumb. Not that these GOP clowns know what country over party even means anymore. They are not patriots. They don’t believe in the American people. https://t.co/m7LpvJYyxQ
— Sachin Chheda (@skchheda) January 25, 2018
While Dallet is trying to present herself as the sensible centrist alternative, one look at her recent statements and at the people behind her campaign indicates she is more closely aligned with Burns than she would want it to appear.
The primary for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Election will be taking place February 20th.