Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice will not recuse herself from election cases

 October 10, 2023

Liberal Justice Janet Protasiewiczn was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this year after a campaign in which she slammed the state's legislative maps as "rigged" and "unfair."

While conservatives say those comments illustrate why Protasiewiczn should recuse herself from election-related cases, the justice is remaining defiant. 

Protasiewiczn says she will take part in election cases

Associated Press reporter Scott Bauer reported this past Friday that Protasiewiczn would not be recusing herself from impeachment cases.

Bauer noted in a post to the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that Protasiewiczn's decision came despite a threat by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to begin impeachment proceedings.

The move came one day after Vos told WKOW reporter Sara Maslar-Donar "the legislature will take the appropriate actions to make sure that the laws are followed" if Protasiewiczn's recusal was not forthcoming.

Assembly speaker: "You're supposed to have an impartial system"

"She has prejudged the case by basically saying that everybody agrees with X, Y, or Z," the Republican lawmaker complained.

"That's no different than prejudging a case in any other circumstance," Vos continued. "It's the basic principle of the law.

"If you think about the scales of justice, the entire idea is that she is blindfolded, because you're supposed to have an impartial system. If somebody starts out a case by saying certain things are obvious, they're not impartial," he added.

Critics accuse Protasiewicz of denying due process to litigants

Wisconsin Public Radio noted that the Wisconsin Judicial Commission rejected complaints filed against Protasiewicz over her comments on redistricting during the campaign.

News that she would not recuse herself did not go over well with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Executive Director Scott Manley.

He stated, "Not surprising that Janet Protasiewicz would use a Friday evening news dump to announce her violation of the Judicial Code of Ethics and decision to deny due process to the litigants in this case."

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