Charlotte Tyler
November 29, 2023
11:15 pm

Georgia Supreme Court steps in to save Trump prosecutor Fani Willis

On Wednesday, the highest court in Georgia essentially prevented lawmakers from removing the prosecutor who indicted former president Donald Trump through a new law.

This bill is part of a larger effort to limit or remove elected prosecutors with whom lawmakers have disagreements, as The Intercept reported.

The law targets district attorneys who are enforcing improvements to the criminal justice system and bringing cases against police issues.

So far, there have been over 30 such bills presented in the past several years.

Proposed regulations establish a new commission with the authority to censure and dismiss elected prosecutors.

This includes Trump's indictment by Fani Willis of Fulton County District Attorney, whose charges were not reviewed by the court, according to the decision. The agency will not be able to function without this outside review.

“While we celebrate this as a victory, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight any future attempts to undermine the will of Georgia voters and the independence of the prosecutors who they choose to represent them,” DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said in a statement on the order.

Rep. Houston Gaines, a Republican who was instrumental in passing the measure spoke to reporters and he said that he and his colleagues intended to keep fighting for its approval until the commission's regulations were settled and the prosecutors were dismissed.

“As soon as the legislature can address this final issue from the court, rogue prosecutors will be held accountable,” Gaines said.

Thirty pieces of legislation totaling more than a third of states' have attempted to pass such legislation over the past few months, making Georgia far from alone in their efforts.

The commission can’t start its work without review from the court, however, as Josh Rosenthal, legal director at the Public Rights Project, which led the suit against the law, pointed out.

“The Georgia Supreme Court recognized what we have said throughout this litigation: SB 92 is a flawed law.

“We are grateful that, as a result of this decision, district attorneys throughout Georgia are not subject to removal for deciding how to best promote safety and justice,” he said.

“The Georgia Supreme Court’s decision leaves the PAQC [Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission] without authority to act on any complaint. Without approved rules, the Commission cannot lawfully investigate or discipline prosecutors across the state. This is an important victory for communities’ ability to choose their vision for safety and justice and a district attorney that will reflect those views.”

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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