After the most expensive judicial race in state history, with candidates and conservative groups spending more than a combined $6 million, Wisconsin has a brand new Supreme Court justice, Brian Hagedorn. The official election happened on April 3 and ended in a razor-thin victory for Bragedorn, who won by only 6,000 votes out of the 1.2 million cast when the election cycle came to a close on Wednesday. Progressive judge Lisa Neubauer conceded the election and chose not to demand a vote recount, Slate reports.
Here are a few fun facts about Hagedorn. As an appeals court judge, he gave paid speeches to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian advocacy organization Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group, which has previously called for the sterilization of transgender people. The Wisconsin Realtors Association withdrew support from Hagedorn when they found a blog of his that said striking down Texas sodomy laws could lead to the legalization of bestiality. He also serves on the board of an academy that fires teachers and expels students for being gay. He also called gay pride "homosexual propaganda" that created a "hostile work environment for Christians." He called Planned Parenthood a "wicked organization," and he represented Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker when he wouldn't defend a state law granting same-sex couples the right to visit their spouses in the hospital.
Sounds like a fun guy!
The result of the election was a shock given that so many groups had pulled support from Hagedorn after his views became public. However, a last-minute influx of cash -- $1.2 million, to be exact -- put Hagedorn over the top and gave the Wisconsin Supreme Court a 5-2 conservative majority.
Hagedorn's victory means that he replaces a liberal justice, Shirley Abramson, and conservatives will have control of the court until at least 2023, Slate reports. Aside from LGBTQ+ issues, the conservative majority could potentially pave the way for even more gerrymandered maps in a state that has severe redistricting issues.