Meet the Candidates
Two candidates, Everett Mitchell and Janet Protasiewicz, met with union educators to discuss their qualifications, values and judicial philosophies.
The Honorable Reverend Everett Mitchell was elected to the Dane County Circuit Court. He presides over the Juvenile Division in Branch Four. As a juvenile court judge he hears cases involving family re-unification, juvenile delinquency, and other civil and criminal proceedings. He also oversees Dane County’s High Risk Drug Court Program.
Judge Mitchell is a graduate of Morehouse College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School where he teaches courses on “Race, Racism and the Law” as well as the “Foundational Principles of the Juvenile Justice System.”
During his tenure on the bench, Judge Mitchell has worked with colleagues to change courtroom policies to reflect trauma-informed practices, such as removing restraints and handcuffs on youth during hearings. He joined several judges in petitioning the Wisconsin Supreme Court to support changing the presumption to ensure that children in Wisconsin can attend their court hearings without restraints and handcuffs.
Judge Mitchell worked with the Madison Metropolitan School District, the second-largest district in the state, to create an Office of Youth Engagement that provides a bridge for youth involved in the criminal justice system to educational programming. Judge Mitchell works tirelessly to ensure the youth under his jurisdiction are treated with respect and dignity. While this may be common sense, it is not always common practice.
Judge Mitchell has lectured or spoken at colleges and universities, national conferences, community events, corporate events, professional workshops, and in front of many other diverse audiences.
Judge Janet Protasiewicz is a community leader, a veteran prosecutor, and a lifelong advocate for victims of crime. In nearly a decade as circuit court judge, she has earned the respect of the community, developing a reputation for being fair and impartial.
Raised in a working-class family, Judge Protasiewicz worked her way through college and law school as a waitress and nonprofit administrator. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UW Milwaukee and her law degree at Marquette University, where she later served as Adjunct Professor of Law. Before being elected to the bench, she served more than 25 years as Assistant District Attorney, where she prosecuted serious crimes, and successfully argued in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Throughout her career, Judge Protasiewicz has been deeply involved in the community. She has served on the boards of the Association of Marquette University Women, the American Red Cross-Wisconsin Chapter, the Polish Heritage Alliance, and Marquette University Law School Alumni Association. She belongs to the Association of Women Lawyers, TEMPO, Professional Dimensions, Serjeants Inns of Court, Foley Inns of Court, and Fairchild Inns of Court.
Judge Protasiewicz’s work has been recognized throughout the state. In 2017 she received the Community Involvement Award from the Association of Women Lawyers, and in 2018 the Wisconsin Law Journal presented her with the Women in the Law Women of Influence Award.
Judge Protasiewicz has been elected to the bench twice without opposition. She currently serves in Family Court and has also presided over homicide, sexual assault, misdemeanor, domestic violence, and drug courts. She and her husband, Gregory Sell, live in Franklin.
Justice Daniel Kelly describes himself as a judicial constitutionalist and is widely known as a judicial conservative. He was appointed by Scott Walker to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2016, where he served until 2020 when he was defeated by Jill Karofsky.
After he was defeated, Justice Kelly joined the Institute for Reforming Government, an affiliate member of the far-right State Policy Network. The IRG president, CJ Szafir, is the former Vice President of the Bradley-funded Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.
Judge Jennifer Dorow describes herself as a judicial conservative. She was appointed to the Waukesha County Circuit Court in 2011 by Scott Walker. She has been named Chief Judge of Third Judicial District and the Chairperson of Wisconsin’s Chief Judges.
Dorow presided over one of the most high-profile trials in state history, sentencing Darrell Brooks to hundreds of years in prison for killing six people and injuring scores more as he drove through a Christmas parade in Waukesha in 2021.