MADISON, Wis. — A bombshell media report indicates the extremism and homophobia of Brian Hagedorn has resulted in a second major conservative group pulling their support for his campaign for the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. After One Wisconsin Now earlier exposed Hagedorn for founding and sitting on the board of directors of a school whose official policy excludes LGBTQ teachers and students, the staunchly conservative Wisconsin Realtors Association rescinded their endorsement and asked for their campaign contribution to be returned.
“For our courts to be effective we have to trust that everyone who appears there will be treated equally under the law,” commented One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “Even staunchly conservative groups like the Wisconsin Realtors and U.S. Chamber are recognizing Brian Hagedorn’s vile, discriminatory views have no place in the courtroom.”
Media reports, based on research from One Wisconsin Now, also uncovered Hagedorn was paid thousands of dollars by an anti-LGBTQ hate group that wants to criminalize homosexuality while he was a judge. Hagedorn received income or gifts from the right wing Alliance Defending Freedom, classified as a hate group, by the Southern Poverty Law Center from 2015 through 2018.
During law school, Hagedorn interned with the Alliance Defense Fund (now called the Alliance Defending Freedom) and described the group as “formed to fight the culture wars” in his own writings. He also often commented on court decisions on a weblog he maintained and in articles he submitted to newspapers and other conservative websites. For example, he compared a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay rights to legalizing bestiality.
Hagedorn has also used the court to try to impose his agenda. While working as legal counsel in the governor’s office, he tried to undermine a Wisconsin law providing basic rights for LGBTQ couples like hospital visitation and inheritance. He petitioned the court for then-Gov. Scott Walker to withdraw from a case because they agreed that the Wisconsin domestic partnership registry violated the state constitution. The State Supreme Court unanimously disagreed, upholding the law in their decision.