ICYMI: Editorial | Reelect Josh Kaul to defend the right to choose

Oct 17, 2022

ICYMI: Editorial | Reelect Josh Kaul to defend the right to choose

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Josh Kaul was endorsed by the Capital Times. In its editorial announcing the endorsement, the paper’s editorial board wrote that AG Kaul was “a prosecutor, not a politician” and commended his focus on serving consumers, voters, workers, and the environment.

The Cap Times: Editorial | Reelect Josh Kaul to defend the right to choose

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is a prosecutor, not a politician.

As a former federal prosecutor, Kaul has since his election four years ago focused on making the Wisconsin Department of Justice a cutting-edge force for public safety, and a source of protection for consumers, workers, the environment and individual rights.

Kaul’s professionalism is such that the Democrat has won endorsements for his reelection campaign from across the political and ideological spectrum. What has impressed people in the legal community is the seriousness with which this attorney general performs his duties, and his willingness to take stands based on the law and common sense rather than political positioning.

The same cannot be said for Kaul’s rival in this year’s race for attorney general, Republican Eric Toney. On 2022’s hottest legal issue — the question whether to defend abortion rights — Toney has taken an extreme anti-choice stand that would divert DOJ resources away from fighting crime, maintaining consumer protections and assuring that corporate polluters do not despoil our rivers and streams.

While some Republicans have begun to moderate their positions on abortion rights issues, Toney has signaled that he would defend a sweeping abortion ban that was enacted in 1849 — more than 70 years before women won the right to vote and almost 125 years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision overturned archaic restrictions on reproductive rights.

Since a judicial activist majority on the current Supreme Court upended the Roe decision in June, anti-abortion zealots in Wisconsin have demanded that the 1849 law be enforced — even in cases of rape and incest. Toney, who is campaigning with the support of those zealots, would make the Department of Justice their political plaything.

In contrast, Kaul agues the 1849 law was rendered obsolete by 1985 legislation that protected the right to choose. He has filed a lawsuit seeking to end the uncertainty created by the high court’s convoluted decision. And he has announced that the Department of Justice will not use its limited resources to prosecute abortion cases. As Kaul explains, “We investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes in the state of Wisconsin, and to shift those resources to going after doctors, nurses, or even somebody who drove a family member to a clinic to obtain an abortion? That would be a huge misuse of DOJ resources.”

That’s a rational response rooted in respect for the rule of law.

Wisconsin should expect nothing less from its attorney general.

Kaul’s commitment to keep the Department of Justice focused on the essential work of maintaining public safety and protecting consumers, workers and the environment merits overwhelming support on Nov. 8.