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New secretary of state leads UWL rally to get out voters for Supreme Court race



A rally aimed at helping elect a liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court justice drew dozens of people to the UWL student union on Sunday. 

Speakers at the Rally for Our Rights called on voters to support Janet Protasiewicz, who would give the court a liberal majority if she wins in April. 

Pro-choice posters were prepared for a Sunday rally at the UW-La Crosse student union

One high-ranking state official, Secretary of State Sarah Godlewski, came to La Crosse for the rally.  She said Wisconsin should have acted to protect women’s rights before Roe vs. Wade was overturned last year.

“We could have done something in making this the law of the land for the past 50 years, but we didn’t,” Democrat Godlewski told the local audience. “But I’m even more ticked because the Republican legislature has sat on their hands and done nothing, absolutely nothing.”

Godlewski says marriage equality and clean water in Wisconsin also could be affected by how the Supreme Court race turns out. She was appointed secretary of state earlier this month by Gov. Tony Evers upon the sudden retirement of former Secretary Doug LaFollette. Many Republicans in Madison think the change was suspicious, coming three months into a four-year term, and have called for a special election.

While much of the focus of the rally was on pro-choice laws, La Crosse legislator Jill Billings said the Supreme Court election could help make elections fairer for Wisconsin Democrats like herself.

An audience at UWL listens to speakers at a Rally for Our Rights on Sunday

“Fifty-four per cent of the vote, 34 per cent of the seats, Republicans’ rigged maps must go,” Billings told the UWL audience, pointing out that Democrats received a majority of votes in the fall legislative elections, but remain the minority in both houses.

Billings called on voters to elect Protasiewicz, saying that the liberal judge will follow the rule of law.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Carol Herlitzka

    March 27, 2023 at 7:32 am

    Collage students unless they are residents and live and pay property taxes should not vote in our elections.!??

  2. Char

    March 27, 2023 at 9:34 am

    I agree with the other commenter.

    Since when is killing a baby Healthcare? Also, what about the right of the unborn baby to live???

  3. Tom

    March 27, 2023 at 10:02 am

    Here is a Letter to the Editor of the La Crosse Tribune which they did not print:

    Wisconsin should not want nor does it deserve a Legislator on the Supreme Court. If Janet Protasiewicz wants to make laws, she should run for the Assembly, not the Supreme Court. Wisconsin should neither want nor does it deserve a judge who will manifestly rule based on her beliefs. We all have beliefs and they all differ amongst us all. A judge needs to check their beliefs at the door when they put the robe on. They are to Rule as the law is written not how they wish it was written. Protasiewicz claims that former Supreme Court Justice Kelly would Rule as the law is that is on the books regarding the 1849 Wisconsin abortion law. Absolutely! That is what a judge is supposed to do. Protasiewicz deems that to be extreme. Since when is it extreme for a judge to Rule as the law is written? It’s not the job of the Supreme Court to change laws, but to Rule on cases as to whether the law was followed or broken – that’s it. Judges are to not put a thumb on the scale. They should not allow how they rolled out of bed that day or what the political ideology of the day is to influence their Rulings. Justice Daniel Kelly has proven fidelity to the Constitution as a Supreme Court Justice and has Ruled as the laws are written. Put a Judge on the Supreme Court – not a legislator. Vote Daniel Kelly for Supreme Court.

  4. nuck

    March 27, 2023 at 10:21 am

    The Republican controlled legislature offered a compromise of allowing abortions in the case of rape, incest and life of the mother. The Democrats want, as they always have, the right to kill your child at any time for any reason.
    I can accept the former and the latter is immoral

  5. Nick

    March 27, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    My post apparently was not accepted.
    The truth just hurt liberals and shows an anti catholic bias

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