Family feud: Outgoing Wisconsin Supreme Court justice’s daughter slams conservative

Wisconsin Supreme Court
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates Republican-backed Dan Kelly and Democratic-supported Janet Protasiewicz participate in a debate Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Madison, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Family feud: Outgoing Wisconsin Supreme Court justice’s daughter slams conservative

Video Embed

Another influential Wisconsin family is wading into the state’s high-profile Supreme Court election.

This time, it’s outgoing Justice Patience Roggensack’s daughter, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Ellen Brostrom, who has been a judge since 2009. Roggensack has been on the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 2003 and served as chief justice from 2015 to 2021. Though the retiring justice threw her weight behind another candidate during the February primary, she has stayed relatively quiet on the current conservative nominee, former Justice Daniel Kelly.


Roggensack’s daughter, however, has not.

In a scathing editorial, Brostrom, one-half of the only mother-daughter judicial duo in Wisconsin history, claimed Kelly is “unfit” to serve on the state’s highest court and instead is supporting Judge Janet Protasiewicz in the April 4 election.

The election is the most expensive state Supreme Court race in U.S. history and could not only shape Wisconsin policy but also have an impact on the 2024 presidential race.

“As judges, we take an oath to support the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Wisconsin,” Brostrom wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Instead of supporting our constitutional rights, however, Kelly has worked to undermine the Constitution and our democracy. He has never served as a front-line judge, and instead most recently served as a legal advisor to the Republican Party of Wisconsin as it implemented the fake elector scheme, part of a multifaceted conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”

Kelly has come under fire for playing an active role in former President Donald Trump’s plan to overturn the election results following his loss to President Joe Biden. He also took a hit last week after claiming conservative activist Scott Presler’s work was “invaluable.” Presler, who planned several “stop the steal” rallies, was also at the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack. He has been campaigning for Kelly around the state, which isn’t sitting well with Brostrom.

“Whatever our flaws and shortcomings, America, and Wisconsin specifically, has been a ‘city on a hill’ for the peaceful transition of power,” she wrote. “Instead of peaceful transition, however, since the last presidential election, the country has been subject to a massive fraud designed to convince fellow citizens that the election was stolen. It seems the losing side — led by President Trump, Fox News, and his allies — believes the results should be overturned by any means necessary. To that end, they have intentionally lied to the American people and conspired to keep Trump illegally in power. Kelly assisted in this scheme, and that makes him unfit to serve on our state’s highest court.”

Despite the public pushback from Brostrom, Kelly has been raking in endorsements from multiple other judges.

On Monday, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler added her name to the lengthy list of jurists supporting Kelly’s campaign.

“Having served with Justice Dan Kelly for four years, I know firsthand his commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the judicial branch of our government does not overstep the bounds placed on us by our Constitution,” Ziegler said in a written statement. “Justice Kelly’s experience, temperament, and philosophy make him the best choice in this incredibly important election.”


Kelly and Protasiewicz are running to replace Roggensack, a conservative whose term expires in July. While the election is nonpartisan, the court has a 4-3 conservative majority. Next week’s election will likely determine the ideological makeup of the court as it takes on hot-button matters such as abortion, gerrymandering, and election laws.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles