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 November 11, 2023

Judge orders former state Supreme Court justice to turn over secret panel records

Efforts to impeach a liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court justice took an interesting twist this week. 

According to the Washington Examiner, a judge last week ordered a former state high court justice to turn over records related to an alleged secret panel of Republicans who plotted the possible impeachment of the radically liberal new state Supreme Court justice, Justice Janet Protasiewicz.

Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington ordered former justice Patience Roggensack to "produce all records within her possession relating to her work as a member of the panel."

The former high court judge was provided a 30-day window to hand over the requested documents.

Protasiewicz's Supreme Court election victory rocked state politics, as it took away Republican control of the state's high court, which it had for some 15 years.

At issue is the fact that Protasiewicz will oversee crucial cases, including election and abortion-related cases, that could have monumental impacts on the next election.

She won her election against Justice Daniel Kelly in what set a record for the most expensive race for a state Supreme Court in United States history.

The Examiner noted:

Conservatives have repeatedly slammed Protasiewicz's impartiality and have demanded she recuse herself from some high-profile cases. On the campaign trail, Protasiewicz made no secret that she was pro-abortion rights and wanted Wisconsin's heavily GOP-favored legislative maps redrawn.

The alleged secret panel of Republicans was announced, the Examiner noted, by Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Lawyers for the state speaker have now argued that the secret panel never existed.

Judge Remington wrote responded to the arguments.

"Wisconsin has had and continues to have a long and storied tradition on the responsibility of open government, and members of the panel, as defined in the allegations contained in the petition, have that responsibility," Remington said.

He added, "Whether they understood it or not when accepting the invitation to opine on the question presented is not determinative of whether the panel exists in the eyes of the court."

Only time will tell what happens next, but it's clear that both sides are not bowing out without a legal fight.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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