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 September 12, 2023

Wisconsin Republicans push to impeach newly-elected Supreme Court chief justice

The Wisconsin Supreme Court and state politicians have generated headlines over the past week regarding the push to impeach the state's high court's chief justice. 

According to The Guardian, Wisconsin GOP legislators are threatening to launch an impeachment against state supreme court justice Janet Protasiewicz if she failed to remove herself from upcoming gerrymandering cases.

The newly-elected chief justice came under fire after speaking about redistricting issues during her campaign, even calling Wisconsin's current legislative maps "rigged" at one point.

That remark alone drew heavy criticism from state Republicans, many of whom do not believe she should preside over any upcoming challenges to the state's redistricting maps.

The Guardian noted:

Now, the assembly speaker, Robin Vos, who did not respond to a request for comment, has said it is a possibility he is actively considering. In comments on a radio talkshow, Vos indicated the assembly would impeach Protasiewicz if she refuses to recuse herself from cases pending at the court that challenge the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps.

Republicans have gained momentum in their push to impeach the new chief justice.

State Democrats are clearly taking the threat quite seriously, as in recent days, massive, anti-impeachment campaigns have hit the internet and the air waves.

What's more, one former candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court filed a lawsuit aimed at having a judge block impeachment efforts against Protasiewicz, WPR reported.

The outlet noted:

Attorney Timothy Burns lost a 2018 state Supreme Court primary to fellow candidate Michael Screnock and current liberal Justice Rebecca Dallet. He is asking the court to issue an injunction blocking Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and other Assembly lawmakers from voting to impeach Protasiewicz or any other justice unless a majority of the court rules constitutional standards have been met.

Burns said he believes impeachment would "nullify the vote" of over 1 million Wisconsin voters, adding that it would also violate the state's constitution.

Vos made clear during an August interview his thoughts.

"You cannot have a judge who said, you know, the maps are rigged because she bought into the argument that that's why we're winning elections, not the quality of our candidates, and then she sits on that trial acting like she's gonna listen and hear both sides fairly — that just can't happen," Vos said, according to WPR.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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