Opinion Brief

Wisconsin, round 2: The Supreme Court battle

Suddenly, the union-busting efforts of Badger State Republicans hinge on Tuesday's re-election vote for a lone state Supreme Court justice

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's controversial attempt to strip public employee unions of their bargaining powers meets a new challenge Tuesday, when a conservative judge on the state's Supreme Court faces reelection. The state's high court will likely have the final say on whether Walker's law survives, and Tuesday's vote will determine whether conservatives on the court maintain their 4-3 majority. In an ugly ad war, liberal groups have slammed incumbent Justice David Prosser as an extreme conservative clone of Walker, while Tea Party forces have accused liberal challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, of being in the unions' pocket. Who will win this next battle in the war over unions? (See the latest round of protests.)

The anti-union crowd is in trouble: Both sides are spending millions on ads, says Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones. But liberal activists have turned this race into a "referendum on the GOP agenda," with ads saying, "Prosser is Walker." Given all the "extremely angry and motivated union voters" who will be flocking to the polls, Tea Partiers will really have to work some "magic" to save Prosser's job."Tea Party Express jumps into Wisconsin judicial race"

Voters should see through the misleading liberal attacks: Liberal groups have turned this "sleepy election into Custer's Last Stand," says Greg Halvorson at The American Thinker, "slandering Justice Prosser, running misleading ads, and pushing a martial political vendetta." But if taxpayers just stay focused on how important Walker's reforms are to keeping union demands from busting the state's budget, Wisconsin can avoid getting "Kloppenburged" on Tuesday.   "Prosser vs. Kloppenburg: Wisconsin Supreme Court battle royale"

Prosser has torpedoed his own campaign: Justice Prosser may lose, says Madison.com in an editorial, and not just because of pro-union attack ads. He embarrassed himself with a "very public meltdown," calling Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "bitch" in the run-up to the campaign, and foolishly linking himself to Walker, who is struggling in polls. Now that voters have a choice between Prosser and a "brilliant challenger," the sitting justice is "no longer a credible contender for the high court.""The problem with Prosser"

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