A liberal watchdog group was dealt a major blow this week when a case was tossed to fight the investigation into Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz.
If you recall, Protasiewicz won her election, giving liberals an edge on the court for the first time in 15 years.
She won her election partly because she made it clear that she thought the district maps drawn by Republicans were “unfair” and “rigged.”
After Protasiewicz was elected, Republicans immediately started to attack her for her position regarding the district maps that were drawn up.
Since Republicans controlled the state legislature, they were the ones tasked with drawing the new lines after the latest census was published.
Republicans in the State House commissioned a panel of three former state justices to decide if impeachment was warranted against Protasiewicz.
In the meantime, they had also requested that Protasiewicz recuse herself from the gerrymandering case due to the comments she had made while campaigning.
The argument was that she had already made her position known, but Protasiewicz has refused to recuse herself, admitting to her comments but following that up by saying that those comments were not going to stand in the way of her hearing the facts of the case and making her decision based on those, not her personal feelings.
That, of course, led to the watchdog group filing a lawsuit to disband the panel.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington issued his ruling in that case, stating, “The waiting period expresses the legislature’s preference for enforcement by district attorneys.
“Because that preference is central to Wisconsin’s statutory scheme for open government, American Oversight’s failure to either wait for the district attorney to refuse or for twenty days has deprived the Court of competency to award it any relief.”
American Oversight Executive Director Heather Sawyer responded, “Our quick action achieved that goal, bringing to light important documents and information about the composition and recommendations of the panel — notably, the fact that former Justices Prosser and Wilcox advised against the impeachment of Justice Protasiewicz — that otherwise might have remained shrouded in darkness.”
Even though the panel has not made its official ruling, reports have surfaced that two of the three justices have informed the House Speaker that they do not believe the actions of the justice warrant impeachment.