Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn knows something about being attacked for his religious faith. While running for the state Supreme Court in 2019, Hagedorn was attacked by the left and its ally The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for daring to be a traditional conservative Christian as well as a judge.
Hagedorn fought back, starting with this op-ed in RightWisconsin, and won the election. Now the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice is seeing similar attacks on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the U.S. Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Hagedorn says Democrats should avoid opposing Barrett on religious grounds and warns that the public won’t stand for it.
The not-so-subtle message was that I was dangerous because I was a Christian. These attacks were unfair, wrong and painful. My children would pull up a song on YouTube or turn on the television and be told that their father hated all sorts of people, a charge they knew to be false.
As offensive as it was to me and my family, it offended Wisconsinites even more. People who had never cared about judicial races rose up. Citizens sounded the alarm, volunteered their time, and spread the message to friends and family. Maybe more than anything, they prayed.
Despite being vastly outspent and left for dead by the political class, on April 2, 2019, I won by fewer than 6,000 votes in what one reporter called the biggest upset he’d seen in 20 years covering Wisconsin politics.
The blatant religious bigotry displayed by my opponents backfired spectacularly. When people heard the message that people of faith are unwelcome in the public square, they were outraged. They felt personally attacked, as if they were the ones being told their religion was full of hate and that because of their beliefs they had forfeited their right to participate in public life. Voters responded by sending an unmistakable message, to the shock of the media and political elites.