MADISON — Liberal-backed Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Lisa Neubauer is drawing criticism from her opponent for attending a climate change march protesting the environmental agenda of President Donald Trump.
Neubauer attended the April 2017 People's Climate March in Madison with her daughter, Democratic state Rep. Greta Neubauer, of Racine, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday.
Neubauer faces conservative-backed candidate Brian Hagedorn in the April 2 election. They are both state appeals court judges. The winner will replace retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who is part of a three-justice liberal minority on the court controlled 4-3 by conservatives.
The race is nonpartisan in name only.
"Lisa Neubauer joining left-wing protests tells voters everything they need to know about her desire to politicize the Supreme Court," said Hagedorn's campaign adviser, Stephan Thompson. "Judge Hagedorn knows his job is to say what the law is, not what he thinks the law should be."
The march, which was organized by the Sierra Club and more than 20 other liberal organizations, was held in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other communities around the country.
The website for the Madison rally said Wisconsin residents are under attack from "the current state and federal administrations," an apparent reference to the Republican control in Washington and, at the time, Wisconsin.
Neubauer's campaign manager, Tyler Hendricks, attacked Hagedorn rather than responding to questions about whether she should have attended the event or if Neubauer would recuse herself from climate change and Trump-related cases if elected to the state Supreme Court.
"Judge Neubauer's fair and impartial record is why she has the support of over 330 judges, and dozens of both Republican and Democratic district attorneys and law enforcement officials across the state," Hendricks said. "Brian Hagedorn has been called unqualified by leading organizations in Wisconsin because of his statements, past writings and ties to an organization labeled as a hate group."
That's in reference to Hagedorn's blog, written in the mid-2000s when he was a law school student, in which he opined, among other things, that a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down an anti-sodomy law could lead to the legalization of bestiality.
Hagedorn has also been paid more than $3,000 for giving speeches to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has supported criminalizing sodomy and sterilizing transgender people and has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He also helped found a private Christian elementary school in 2016 that allows for the expulsion of students for being gay.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association earlier this month rescinded its endorsement of Hagedorn, saying issues that have come to light in the race "directly conflict with the principles of our organization and the values of our members."
Hagedorn has said he's being unfairly attacked for his evangelical Christian faith and that he would be a fair, impartial Supreme Court justice.