Waukesha Co. judge, former Act 10 lawyer, running for appeals court seat

By: - November 2, 2021 1:09 pm
Blind justice holding balancing scales statue

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Conservative Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Maria Lazar announced on Monday that she’s running for an open seat on the District 2 Court of Appeals, which covers 12 counties in Southeastern Wisconsin but excludes Milwaukee County. 

Lazar was elected to her seat in Waukesha County in 2015 and her six-year term is set to expire this year. A former assistant attorney general in the Wisconsin Department of Justice under Republican Brad Schimel, Lazar defended the state in lawsuits against Act 10, the controversial bill signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that weakened public unions in the state. 

Lazar has also written for the Federalist Society, a right-wing legal organization that has worked to influence the makeup of courts across the country. 

In Waukesha County, Lazar has been a judge in the juvenile, criminal and  civil divisions as well as a drug treatment court judge. 

“I’m running for Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals, District 2 because for too long our freedoms have suffered,” Lazar said in a news release announcing her candidacy. “As a judge, I have sworn an oath to the Constitutions of the United States and of Wisconsin, as well as to the people of this State, that I would honor the principles upon which our Nation was founded in the Court of Appeals.”

In 2018, Lazar considered running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court but decided against it, ultimately endorsing Brian Hagedorn. 

The District 2 Court of Appeals covers Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties. 

Incumbent Judge Paul F. Reilly has announced his resignation from the four-judge panel, leaving an open seat. The rest of the panel is made up of Lisa Neubauer, who ran as a liberal-backed candidate in the 2018 race for state Supreme Court; Shelley Grogan, who was elected last year after running as a more right-wing candidate than the Gov. Tony Evers-appointed incumbent and Mark Gundrum, who was appointed in 2011 by Walker. 

The Spring 2022 election is set to be held on April 5.


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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.