October 25, 2023

WI Supreme Court Justice Will Not Recuse Herself from Case

Wisconsin Justice Janet Protasiewicz campaigned on redoing the congressional map in Wisconsin.

She made it quite clear that she thought the map was rigged in favor of Republicans and wanted to address it if she won her election.

She won, and now she is ignoring calls for her to recuse herself from the case even though it seems pretty clear that her mind is made up on this matter.

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For more than a decade, conservatives controlled the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The makeup of the court was three hardliners on each side, with a more moderate conservative that would cross over from time to time, very much like Chief Justice Roberts on our Supreme Court.

One of the hardline conservatives was replaced by Protasiewicz, giving liberals a strong 4-3 advantage that is not likely to crack in any case coming before the court.

Following the most recent census, congressional lines were redrawn and since the GOP was in control of the state legislature, they were the ones that decided on the new districting, which means Democrats would accuse them of gerrymandering.

They did, and now the court ruled 4-3 to hear the gerrymandering case, a case with a destiny that has already been written.

During her campaign, Protasiewicz stated, “I don’t think you could sell any reasonable person that the maps are fair.” She also noted that the dissenting opinion in the case, with all dissenting votes coming from the hardline liberals on the court, is what she agreed with at the time.

Protasiewicz announced that she would not be recusing herself from the case, which was mentioned in the dissents written by two different justices.

Chief Justice Annette Ziegler said the case “appears to be evidence of a partisan and political, rather than a reasoned and restrained, approach, and thus departs from the constitutional role of the judiciary.”

Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote that the “probability of actual bias on Protasiewicz’s part likely approaches 100 percent.”

This case is destined for the Supreme Court and based on the statements made by Protasiewicz on the campaign trail, I don’t see how they can let the decision stand.

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