A colleague of mine called this political figure “probably one of the worst frauds in Wisconsin history.”
And he’s right. The target of his scorn was WI State Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn.
On Thursday the court approved election maps that were drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. The vote was 4-3 with Hagedorn breaking from conservatives and joining liberals to form a majority.
Hagedorn’s extremely disappointing habit of siding with the court’s leftist judges has happened far too often. I for one have lost count. Hagedorn’s consistent betrayal has left an indelible mark on the minds of angry conservative voters.
Fueling the voters’ frustration is Hagedorn’s complete ideology reversal from his election campaign.
Hours before he defeated Lisa Neubauer in 2019 Hagedorn stated, “The philosophy that governs the [Supreme] Court has a huge effect on our freedom and on what kind of state we are. I believe that my job as a judge is to say what the law is, not what the law should be; to uphold and enforce the Constitution as written. Judge Neubauer has a different philosophy: She has articulated a form of ‘Living Constitutionalism,’ this idea that the Constitution is a little bit malleable and a little bit out of date and that she’s wise enough—along with other judges—to rewrite it in their own image. We need to reject that. We need to reject the politicizing of the Court and judges who have political outcomes in mind.”
Unfortunately Hagedorn has abandoned what we all thought was his philosophy.
When Hagedorn went along with court liberals to reject President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the November election in December 2020 the Wisconsin Examiner got their hands on voicemail messages left with the judge. They weren’t pretty.
“I think you should resign. You gave us a lot of lies. You said you were a Republican conservative. You’re not. You’re terrible. Hopefully someday, you’ll get paid back on this. Resign. You’re a piece of garbage.”
“You are an absolute disgrace. And we the people of Wisconsin are completely embarrassed to have you on the court. Not sure how you can look at yourself in the mirror, but you are a coward. You. Are. A. Coward.”
“Thank you very much for taking my call. Again: disenfranchised, disillusioned, and disappointed. Thank you.”
“What a joke. He is pathetic. He will never, ever, ever see an additional ten years as a judge in the state. He will not ever be reelected. Bye.”
“You are allowing fraud to go on in our state. I will actively campaign against you and your next election, hoping to make you a one term justice.”
“We all know the election was fraudulent. We know it. We’ve seen it with our own eyes. You are asking us to ignore our own eyes and ignore our common sense.”
I want to know “how I’m going to get the $500 back that Judge Hagedorn stole from me.”
As the heat on Hagedorn intensified Newstalk 1130 WISN’s Dan O’Donnell wrote prophetically in December 2020:
Hagedorn has become the sort of justice he promised that he would never be—a constitutional illiterate who twists himself into laughably unsupported knots in order to arrive at the predetermined policy outcome he personally prefers.
What exactly would have been different had Lisa Neubauer defeated him? He made it seem as though his victory was the only thing standing between Wisconsin and judicial tyranny, and yet a year later—now that he doesn’t have to face voters again until 2029—he has fashioned himself the king of the Supreme Court.
As the Court’s swing vote, his is the last word on all matters of constitutional law, but his word is backed by nothing more than his own beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. The constitution is thus irrelevant; so are laws and precedent. The only things that really matters in Hagedorn’s kingdom are the crown’s wishes.
Heavy, though, is the head filled with such delusions—especially when they are supported by a unique kind of ignorant egotism that would so embarrassingly replace the plain language of the Constitution with a misinterpretation of state law.
This might have been humiliating for a self-proclaimed constitutionalist, but Hagedorn has proven to be anything but. He is, and has likely always been, nothing more than a politician willing to say anything on Election Day but spend every day after doing whatever he pleases.
The bitterness of conservative voters directed at Hagedorn can be summed up rather concisely: He lied.
Keep in mind these voters volunteered for Hagedorn. They made phone calls. Distributed campaign literature. Knocked on doors. Spent hard-earned money on donations. And now they’re being kicked in the face time and time again by a turncoat who won’t discuss the matter unless it’s with Wisconsin Public Radio.
Conservatives are stuck with this Benedict Arnold until 2029. Plenty of time to find a truly worthy candidate to kick him to the curb.