The race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is shaping up to be quite… energetic.

The forum, moderated by University of Wisconsin-Madison Political Science professor Ryan Owens, in large part proved to be a bare- knuckle political brawl between the two left-leaning candidates, Madison attorney Tim Burns and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet. The other candidate, Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock, the conservative in the race, mostly remained above the fray, periodically asserting that his opponents are effectively Activist Judge 1 and Activist Judge 2.

“Simply put, the role of the court is to be arbiters of the law, not policy analysts or political activists,” said Screnock, clearly at home at Federalists’ event. “My opponents do not share these views.”

The three candidates face off in a primary election scheduled for Feb. 20, with the two top vote-getters on the ballot for the April 3 general election.

I think Screnock lays out the lines in the race quite well. We have one candidate with a conservative judicial philosophy (Screnock). We have one candidate with a liberal judicial philosophy who maintains some decorum (Dallet). And we have one candidate with a liberal judicial philosophy who sounds like he wants to be the governor, legislature, and judiciary all in one (Burns). The fault lines are pretty clear.