The Latest: Karofsky suggests court incumbent is corrupt

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the three Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates’ first debate (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

State Supreme Court challenger Jill Karofsky is suggesting incumbent Justice Dan Kelly is corrupt.

Karofsky made the implications during the candidates’ first debate Monday at a Madison law firm.

Kelly is part of the court’s conservative-leaning majority. Karofsky said he repeatedly rules in favor of conservative groups, contributing to the perception that the justices make up their minds before anyone gets a chance to argue the case. Twice she said that feels and looks like corruption.

Kelly countered by saying Karofsky views cases through a political lens. He said applies the law logically and logic doesn’t care about personal opinions or beliefs.

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1:05 p.m.

State Supreme Court challenger Jill Karofsky is trying to put incumbent Justice Dan Kelly on the defensive as their first debate gets under way.

Karofsky and Ed Fallone are looking to unseat Kelly in the spring elections. The three of them will face off in a February primary, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the April general election. The three met for their first debate Monday.

Karofsky immediately attacked Kelly, accusing him of constantly siding with conservative groups and ruling in their favor.

Kelly fired back that Karofsky sees everything through a political lens and he decides every case as the law applies to it.

A clearly annoyed Fallone was given little opportunity to speak. At one point he quipped that he felt like a badminton net between Kelly and Karofsky.

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6:35 a.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly is preparing to face his two challengers in a debate for the first time.

Kelly, Jill Karofsky and Ed Fallone are scheduled to appear at a debate at the Foley and Lardner law firm’s Madison offices over the noon hour Tuesday.

The three candidates are headed toward a February primary. The top two vote-getters will advance to the April general election.

Then-Gov. Scott Walker appointed Kelly to the court in 2016 to replace retiring Justice David Prosser. Karofsky is a Dane County judge. Fallone is a Marquette University law professor.

Supreme Court races are officially nonpartisan but Democrats support Karofsky and Fallone and Republicans are rallying behind Kelly. His performance could serve as a harbinger of Republicans’ chances statewide in November 2020.

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