Republicans in Wisconsin are threatening to impeach a liberal Supreme Court justice over donations and her past remarks on state congressional maps.
On Thursday, liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz joined others on the bench for her first hearing in Madison.
Her first official appearance as the state’s newest justice comes as Republicans threaten impeachment. The move serves as the state GOP’s last effort to stop the court’s new 4-to-3 liberal majority, which is expected to toss out Republican-drawn congressional maps and overturn the state’s 1849 abortion ban.
Republicans want Justice Protasiewicz to recuse herself from redistricting cases because during her campaign she said that the state’s current maps are “unfair” and “rigged,” and they further argue she’s already prejudged the case.
On Wednesday, Wisconsin Democrats launched a campaign against Protasiewicz’s impeachment and said the move is a threat to democracy.
“Every legislator must look in the mirror and ask whether they are willing to erase the votes of over a million Wisconsinites, including their own constituents, and shred our own system of government for their own game,” Assembly Minority Leader Representative Greta Neubaurer (D-Wis.) said.
Republicans also pointed out Protasiewicz received nearly $10 million from the Wisconsin Democrat Party.
Democrats say they’ll spend more on a counter-campaign to keep her on the bench and GOP lawmakers maintain their impeachment threat is not unconstitutional.
“To say that this is somehow undemocratic when it’s literally written into the state constitution that this is the mechanism for oversight if it is necessary,” said Representative Shae Sortwell. “I’m not saying it’s necessary today, I’m not it’s not necessary.”
Protasiewicz won over her Republican challenger by 11 points back in April. The vote flipped the Wisconsin Supreme Court to a Democrat majority for the first time in 15 years.