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(LifeSiteNews) — Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz defeated former Justice Daniel Kelly for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Tuesday, shifting the judicial balance of power left in the Dairy State and putting a wide range of conservative laws at risk.

With 64 percent of the vote in, the Associated Press and other outlets have called the race for the liberal jurist, who led her opponent 56.9 percent to 43.1 percent.

Kelly and Protasiewicz were competing for a seat being vacated by retiring conservative Justice Patience Roggensack, whose term ends on July 31, with the Court’s 4–3 conservative majority hanging in the balance.

A Kelly victory would have preserved the status quo, but Protasiewicz’s win establishes a new 4–3 liberal majority, which is expected to have significant ramifications for Wisconsin’s right to work, public-sector collective bargaining, and election integrity laws, as well as a longstanding abortion ban that was the primary focus of Democrat efforts.

READ: Liberal Wisconsin Republicans push to add rape, incest exceptions to 1849 abortion ban

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June, it allowed scores of state pro-life laws across the country to be enforced for the first time in nearly half a century. Among them was Wisconsin Statute 940.04, a law dating back to 1849 that makes it a felony for an abortionist (but not a pregnant mother) to commit an abortion for any reason other than to save the mother’s life.

Wisconsin Democrat Gov. Tony Evers has threatened to give clemency to any abortionist prosecuted under the law, and Democrat Attorney General Josh Kaul says he will not prosecute anyone who violates it; both men won re-election to their current offices last November. But the threat of the law being enforced by lower levels of government has still gotten Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to suspend abortions until the legal landscape changes.

Evers and Kaul also filed a legal challenge to the law, claiming that modern state laws effectively cancel it out and that it was too old to have the consent of current Wisconsinites (a premise that, if adopted, would have drastic ramifications for all corners of American law). The new majority on the state’s highest court is expected to side against the law.

Given the stakes, the race became a magnet for out-of-state contributions, with Protasiewicz raising five times more money than Kelly. The liberal judge and her allies used the funds to fill the airwaves with ads focused on the 1849 abortion law. Ads on behalf of Kelly largely avoided the issue, instead focusing on Protasiewicz giving light sentences to violent criminals.