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While Dan Kelly served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for four years, he was not elected to the position. 

In 2016, Kelly was appointed to the state Supreme Court by then-Gov. Scott Walker. Kelly, who was a private practice attorney in Waukesha, filled a seat vacated by conservative Justice David Prosser. In the 2020 spring election, Kelly ran against liberal candidate Jill Karofsky to keep his seat. Karofsky, a Dane County judge, beat Kelly 55% to 45%. 

Kelly is now facing liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge, in the spring 2023 election. The winner will occupy the state Supreme Court seat being vacated by retiring conservative Justice Patience Roggensack. The election will be April 4. 

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin Public Radio Walker Appoints GOP Legal Ally To State Supreme Court

PBS Wisconsin Jill Karofsky Wins Supreme Court Election

Wisconsin Public Radio Janet Protasiewicz, Dan Kelly to face off in high-stakes Wisconsin Supreme Court election

New York Times Live: Wisconsin Supreme Court and Statewide Election Results

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel What to know about Daniel Kelly, the conservative candidate facing Janet Protasiewicz in the 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court election

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Erin Gretzinger / Wisconsin WatchReporting Intern

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.