Parade killings judge nears decision on Supreme Court run

The judge who presided over the trial of Darrell Brooks, who was convicted of killing six people during the Waukesha Christmas parade, says she will decide whether to run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court “in the coming days.”
Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow addresses Darrell Brooks during his trial in...
Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow addresses Darrell Brooks during his trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha, Wis.(Mark Hoffman | Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 2:08 PM CST
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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — The judge who presided over the trial of the man convicted of killing six people during the Waukesha Christmas parade said Monday that she will make a decision on whether to run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court “in the coming days.”

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow's comments to WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee are the first public remarks she has made about a potential run for the state Supreme Court. She has been considering getting into the race for weeks, after she garnered national attention while presiding over the Darrell Brooks trial.

Dorow told WTMJ that she has “been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement to consider a run for the Supreme Court.”

Dorow said she was considering all of her options.

“I want to weigh things, and certainly talk to my family, and make a decision over the next couple days,” she said.

The Supreme Court race is important for both sides as the winner will determine the ideological makeup of the court, which is currently controlled 4-3 by conservatives. One of the conservative justices, Patience Roggensack, is retiring, creating the open seat.

The court has been bitterly partisan for more than a decade and ruled on several major policy disputes, including upholding Republican-drawn legislative maps and banning absentee ballot drop boxes. Several major cases are expected to head before the court next year, including a challenge to Wisconsin's 173-year-old abortion ban law.

Dane County Circuit Judge Everett Mitchell and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, both liberals, are running as is Dan Kelly, a conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. A Feb. 21 primary will narrow the field to two finalists for the April 4 election. The winner will take the seat in August.

A jury convicted Brooks on six counts of first-degree intentional homicide following the live-streamed trial and Dorow sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Nov. 16. Dorow declined to discuss the case with WTMJ, due to a pending appeal, but said the case was her biggest ever and she was proud of how she handled it.