Wisconsin Republicans consider impeaching Supreme Court justice

 September 18, 2023

Wisconsin Republicans are considering plans to impeach a liberal state Supreme Court justice over comments she made as a candidate.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) announced the launch of an impeachment criteria panel to consider moving forward against Justice Janet Protasiewicz.

Redistricting issues

"Protasiewicz has yet to hear a case, but the high court was asked in August to hear several cases on Wisconsin’s legislative maps," the Hill reported.

"Republicans point to previous comments Protasiewicz made about the state’s maps, in which she called calling them 'rigged,'" it added.

A controversial team

Democrats have complained that one of the panel's members is unfit to serve on the team.

"One of the former Wisconsin Supreme Court justices tapped to investigate impeaching newly elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz for taking Democratic Party money accepted donations from the state Republican Party when he was on the court," the Associated Press wrote.

"The former justice, Republican David Prosser, gave $500 to the conservative candidate who lost to Protasiewicz, did not recuse from cases involving a law he helped pass as a lawmaker and was investigated after a physical altercation with a liberal justice," it added.

Democrats to block

"On Monday, Sept. 11, Tim Burns — a former liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate — filed a petition in the state Supreme Court on behalf of two voters seeking to stop the Wisconsin State Assembly from conducting impeachment proceedings against recently elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz," Democracy Docket reported.

"The petition comes after Republican members of the Wisconsin State Assembly threatened to impeach Protasiewicz for her refusal to recuse herself from redistricting litigation over the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps, her prior statements regarding unfair maps, and her receipt of campaign contributions from the Wisconsin Democratic Party," it continued.

The battle comes as the state's court faces major battles on social issues, including abortion laws, which have been fiercely debated in the state.

Wisconsin will also likely serve as a key battleground state in the 2024 presidential election, spotlighting the state's court battle even more in the year ahead.

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