Judge Rebecca Dallet remarks to Democratic State Convention

Friends, I’m Judge Rebecca Dallet. I’m a sitting judge, a former prosecutor, and most importantly, a mother to three daughters. My oldest is off to college, and two still attend our great local public high school, full of amazing teachers and staff. I got in this race because I want a better Wisconsin for them, for their friends, and for all of us.

As a longtime resident of this beautiful state, I know we need to come together for a better, stronger justice system.

And like you, I am deeply concerned about what’s happened to our Supreme Court. And I don’t accept what’s happened as inevitable.

The division. The rancor. The rejection of our progressive history. We used to take pride in our clean government, our honest leaders. We used to take pride in being able to come together. Now, things are different.

Nowhere more than on our Wisconsin Supreme Court, which is riven by factional fighting. The right versus the left. And like our broader politics, it’s the wealthy versus the poor. Cities versus rural communities.

In recent years, the Court has refused to pass rules to prevent influence by wealthy donors. They’ve taken radical positions that don’t seem to be supported by the law. There’s even reports of physical fighting between justices.

It’s time for a change, and that’s why yesterday I announced my candidacy for Wisconsin Supreme Court. And now, I need your help.

Some will tell you that the solution to partisan judges on the right is to elect more partisan judges – just from the other side. I have a different view of the world, in that I think judges really do need to be independent.

Don’t get me wrong – I have strong Wisconsin values. I value working people. I believe in equality. I think we need to put the worst violent offenders away, but I also think that as a society we need to incarcerate fewer people and make our justice system work better. You can count on me to follow the law and that if I’m elected to be a Supreme Court Justice, that I will come to work every day to seek justice.

But I don’t think the answer is just to come here and tell you that judges need to vote like partisan Democrats to counteract partisan Republican judges. If we fall into the trap of politicizing the third branch, we turn our back on our true progressive history. We need independent judges who follow the law and decide every case based on the Wisconsin and U.S. Constitutions and the law. We bring our own experience in the courtroom to these cases – the law is a living thing. But that’s not the same as pre-deciding outcomes on one side or another, or to promise you I’ll be just another politician, just to try and win an election.

I have the right experience to return independence, and balance, to what has become an increasingly partisan Supreme Court.

I’ve been in Wisconsin courtrooms for more than 20 years, first as a prosecutor, and then as a judge. I’ve overseen both civil and criminal courts. I’ve made the tough decisions to send violent criminals away, and I’ve made the compassionate decisions to give people a second chance. I know our system is imperfect, and that we have to do better for those who have the least.

My best days in a courtroom, I was protecting abused kids and women. I prosecuted predators and abusers. I know what it means to fight for a victim of gun violence.

And my proudest day in the courtroom was when the federal court finally made all of us equal under the law when it comes to love and marriage. I’d been out of town, and as soon as I got home, I grabbed my robe and headed down to the courthouse. I ended up being part of a lot of happy couples’ special day… and part of history.

Again, I’m a mom. I’m a judge. And I want to be a Supreme Court Justice for all of Wisconsin. I think we can win this race, and start getting our state back on the right track. I hope to earn your support, and the support of every Wisconsinite. Check out my website or on social media at JudgeDallet. Thank you!

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