Conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack has decided not to seek reelection. His vacancy will leave the court equally split along ideological lines. Before his departure, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had a 4-3 conservative majority.

An election leaves multiple court decisions in the balance – including an 1849 abortion law that offers no exceptions to abortion except for the mother’s life.

Democratic strategist Joe Zepecki told The Hill that last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade would continue to galvanize Wisconsin voters to the polls.

“The midterms did not go the way Republicans thought they would, and I really believe that one of the main reasons behind that was the Dobbs decision. Nothing has fundamentally changed in the landscape,” he said of the upcoming election. “That means that all of a sudden, the voters who are passionate about abortion in November of last year aren’t going to go, ‘Oh, well, we did what we could. Oh, well, we’ll just live with this.’”

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Democratic state Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit last year challenging the abortion law in court. The next Supreme Court Justice is likely to decide on the case.

They’re also likely to hear cases on the state’s recently changed voter districts, bail reform and state aid to the poor.

Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz and Dane County Judge Everett Mitchell are the Democratic judges vying for the seat. Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow and former state Supreme Court Judge Daniel Kelly are the Republican candidates. The state’s primary election is set for February 21.

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