A nine-member state judicial panel in Wisconsin has dismissed complaints against new Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who tilted the court’s majority to liberal when she took office in August.
- Its members include two lawyers and two judges appointed by the Supreme Court and five non-lawyers appointed by the governor to three-year terms.
Wisconsin Republicans, who are salivating at the idea of impeaching Protasiewicz, alleged she violated the judicial code of ethics for comments she made during the campaign.
Protasiewicz criticized Republican-drawn electoral maps and spoke in favor of abortion rights during her campaign, and Republicans complained she had declared how she would rule on related cases. They had also asked for her recusal in related cases.
Republicans, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, allege Protasiewicz has prejudged redistricting cases pending before the Supreme Court because of comments she made during her campaign. They also say she can’t fairly hear the cases because she took nearly $10 million in campaign donations from the Wisconsin Democratic Party, which did not file the lawsuits but has long pushed for new maps.
Protasiewicz released the letter, dated May 31, from the judicial commission on Tuesday. The actions of the commission are private unless released by a party involved.
The commission’s director referred to “several complaints” it had received and dismissed without action.
“Wisconsin has never seen a Supreme Court Justice so brazenly declare how she would rule on a case before it ever came to the Court, and we had hoped the principles of equal justice would be seriously considered by the Judicial Commission, despite their liberal bias,” Wisconsin Republican Party Chairperson Brian Schimming said in a statement. “It was clearly asking too much.”