“I’m not running against just one justice. I’m running against all four of them,” – Brad Schimel told WRN
Former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced his campaign for state Supreme Court on Thursday night, promising to lead “not just a campaign. This is a movement to take back our state.”
Schimel accused the four left-wing justices who form a majority on the court of operating “above the law,” and unethically supplanting the Constitution and rule of law with their own opinions.
“I’m not running against just one justice. I’m running against all four of them,” Schimel told WRN after his speech at a manufacturing plant in Waukesha. He was introduced by former Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki and current Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson, both of whom offered strong praise for Schimel. The speech drew an enthusiastic crowd. After his speech, Schimel picked up an electric guitar and rocked with his band.
Schimel went after liberal Ann Walsh-Bradley for wanting to perpetuate COVID lockdowns and trying to strike down a sweeping victims’ rights amendment passed by voters. He also accused her of helping lead the dysfunction on the current court.
During COVID, he said, “Remember the emergency laws poised to go on forever? Well, thank God, the Wisconsin Supreme Court put an end to those. But that was not the current Wisconsin Supreme Court. In fact, my opponent wrote the dissenting opinion. She would have kept those emergency rules in place contrary to statutes and the Constitution.”
Schimel questioned the timing of lawsuits by liberal special interest groups seeking to undo decades of reforms, such as a lawsuit filed by unions earlier Thursday to undo Act 10 collective bargaining reforms, saying the court’s liberal majority invited them. According to the MacIver Institute, Act 10 “has saved Wisconsin taxpayers $16.8 BILLION since it was signed into law.”
Schimel, 58, is running against Walsh-Bradley, 73, for a 10-year seat on the court. So far, no other candidates have entered the race.
Schimel, a former Waukesha County District Attorney and current circuit judge, said that, as AG, he was “proud to lead the charge to get a victims’ rights amendment passed in Wisconsin, Marsy’s law.”
Voters passed it overwhelmingly and the Supreme Court upheld it, but Walsh-Bradley was the lone vote opposing Marsy’s Law, Schimel said (WRN previously wrote about that topic, pointing out that Walsh-Bradley was concerned with elevating the rights of criminal defendants.)
“There was one justice who dissented and would have struck that amendment down and that was my opponent,” he said.
Announcing his candidacy, Schimel said, “There’s only one way to stop this madness.” He criticized the “huge impact California dollars have on our elections now.”
Schimel also criticized Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, although not by name, for stating that she would outline her “values” on the campaign trail but then appearing to prejudge cases, such as saying legislative maps already upheld by the courts were “rigged.”
Schimel said he understood the difference between his values and his opinions.
“My values are honesty, integrity, respect for other people,” he said. “I will set aside my opinions.”
He pointed out that juries can’t judge a case until they hear all the evidence.
“This current Supreme Court majority doesn’t think that applies to them. Why are they better than the citizens who sit on juries when it comes to respect for the law?” he asked.
“Do any of the laws they don’t like stand a chance?”
“Today seven labor unions filed lawsuits again against the 2011 Act 10; that law has been on the books now since 2011 and here we are. It’s had scores of lawsuits already and here we are again, why? Because this majority on the court invited it,” Schimel said.
“We must take back the majority in 2025,” he added, noting that the next chance for conservatives would not be until 2028.
“I will not be outworked. I will not be intimidated by the huge liberal machine buying justice in Wisconsin,” said Schimel.
“Conservatives need to unify. I believe I’d be the best candidate to unify those who have been at odds.”
Schimel said he believes conservatives “need to avoid a damaging primary,” and he said, “I will earn it.”
He stressed his relationships with the grassroots and law enforcement, honed through his years as attorney general.
“Public safety is a huge concern for the people in Wisconsin. I have strong relationships with the law enforcement community,” said Schimel. Although Schimel lost the AG seat in 2018, it was only by 17,000 and was in an anomalous year; there was a blue wave that year as it was two years into Trump’s first term, and there was a conservative third-party Constitution Party candidate on the ballot who took 47,000. Schimel painted his AG experience as an advantage because of his heavy grassroots networking throughout the entire state and strong ties to law enforcement.
“Amen” someone in the crowd said.
“Why I’m in this early is to demonstrate that I’m the strongest candidate to build a huge team we need to win,” Schimel said.
“It seems like things are out of balance. Who’s going to stop all of this?”
“I’ve had enough. How about you? Are any of our rights safe from a high court that put its own opinions above the law?”
He said Walsh-Bradley also signed the letter firing the state director of courts. “I’m scared that the legal instability that comes from putting the will of justices over the law will have dramatic bad consequences for families,” said Schimel.
He added, “It’s not your father’s liberal majority. This time is different. They intend to make big changes.”
He said the four liberal justices had met in secret, and they stripped the chief justice “of her constitutional powers,” in what he called a “raw power grab.”
“They have all the power, and they are going to use it against us.”
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler tried to paint Schimel as “extreme” to the Association Press. He criticized Schimel for “untested” rape kits. As Wisconsin Right Now previously reported, the rape kit attack is a hoax. Although Wikler also criticized Schimel over management of the state crime lab, the crime lab has taken longer in key testing categories despite taking in far fewer cases under Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul than under Schimel.
About Brad Schimel
Schimel’s bio reads,
“Brad Schimel grew up in the Town of Vernon and graduated Mukwonago High School. He attended UW Waukesha for 2 years and then finished his Bachelor Degree at UW Milwaukee. He began his career in the Waukesha County Courthouse as an intern in the DA’s Office in 1989, and after graduating UW Law School in 1990, was hired as an Assistant DA. He served as an Assistant DA until he was elected Waukesha County District Attorney in 2006 and was twice reelected as DA. He left the courthouse in 2015 after being elected Wisconsin Attorney General. Brad and his family stayed here in Waukesha County, and he returned to the courthouse as a Circuit Court Judge presiding over Br. 6 in January, 2019.”
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