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Learn the Truth about the False Attacks on Justice Kelly

It is a maxim in the legal profession that the views of clients are not attributable to their attorneys. 

In the course of 20 years in private practice, Daniel Kelly provided legal advice to hundreds of clients on a broad range of legal issues. Below are facts that refute the lies being pushed by his opponents to smear his reputation and candidacy.  

LIE – As a lawyer, Kelly defended child sex predators who posed as ministers in order to prey on vulnerable young girls. 

TRUTH – In the first law firm at which Daniel Kelly worked, Mr. Kelly was briefly assigned to handle pre-trial duties in the Spaulding cases. He did no further work in defense of the accused and moved on from the law firm before the case went to trial. He did not represent or defend them at trial.

LIE Dan Kelly wants abortion banned, even in cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother. For years, Kelly was on the payroll of a radical anti-abortion group working to take away women’s rights. 

TRUTH – Justice Kelly does not discuss his views on abortion. He has said if a case on that subject comes before the Supreme Court, he would analyze it as he does all cases — he would apply the applicable laws, as written, to the extent they are consistent with the state and federal constitutions. As a justice, he sets aside whatever his personal opinions might be and focuses solely on the job of applying the law, not changing it to fit his personal views. Changing law is the job of the state legislature.

LIE – For years, Kelly was on the payroll of a radical anti-abortion group working to take away women’s rights. 

TRUTH – Justice Kelly was never on the payroll of Wisconsin Right to Life. Furthermore, as a justice he sets aside his personal opinions and works to apply the law as written. 

LIE – …Kelly was at the center of the discussion in December 2020 with top Wisconsin Republicans over their highly controversial plan to covertly convene a group of Republicans inside the state Capitol…” Justice Kelly was hired “by the state Republican Party and the Republican National Committee to advise them on “election integrity issues” and the failed plan to set up a slate of fake presidential electors in 2020.”

TRUTH – Justice Kelly was hired by the RPW and RNC as a special counsel in August of 2020-before the November election. He was hired to advise on the ins and outs of all Wisconsin election law when needed and not just on so-called “election integrity” law issues. Justice Kelly was not only not at the center of any alternate elector plan, he had no knowledge of such a plan outside of one requested thirty-minute phone call on the subject.  As congressional testimony has established, he was “not in the loop” on any such plan.

LIE – Justice Kelly was “bought off” over $20,000 in campaign contributions.

TRUTH – This is a lie. Before the 2020 election, Justice Kelly recused himself from a case involving an issue that could have affected an election in which he was a candidate.  After the election was over, the case no longer had the potential of affecting anything in which Justice Kelly had an interest.  Consequently, he sent a letter to the parties asking whether anyone would have any objection if he took part in future activity in the case.  No one objected.

LIE – “Kelly ruled six times in favor of a plaintiff with which he had close ties, including taking contributions from its board.”

TRUTH – This is a lie.  First, there is a difference between plaintiffs and the attorneys who represent them, which even a minimally competent jurist must know.  In each of these six cases, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) served as counsel.  Long before Justice Kelly was a jurist, he was briefly associated, in a voluntary capacity, with WILL’s litigation advisory board where he attended one meeting five years before the earliest of these cases came to the Supreme Court.  None of these matters were even potential cases at the time. Because he had no connection with the parties nor the subject of the cases, it would have been irresponsible for Justice Kelly to recuse himself from their consideration. In addition, these cases occurred between 2017 and June 2019. Justice Kelly didn’t start fundraising until after June 2019 so any campaign donations couldn’t have possibly influenced decisions in those cases.  This is just another example of Janet Protasiewicz’s lack of personal integrity, as well as a demonstration of her sloppy analysis.


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