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Wisconsin Legislature eyes possible impeachment of state Supreme Court Justice

It is possible you could see something in Madison this year that has not happened since the state’s infancy.


Republican leaders have floated the possibility of impeaching newly-elected state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz before she weighs in on a case. Most of the ire being directed at Protasiewicz is based on her comments about Wisconsin’s election maps, which she called “rigged” and “unfair.” The Wisconsin Judicial Commission rejected complaints lodged against her about her comments according to the Associated Press, but Republicans have said Protasiewicz should recuse herself from any redistricting-related hearings because of the comments and because of the $10 million she accepted from the Democratic Party causes during her state Supreme Court battle with former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly.


Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says he does not know what will happen, but says impeachments are usually based on something criminal in nature and not political.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Associated Press that he wants to do the legal research before moving forward with any possible action while Senate President Devin LeMahieu told WISN in Madison that they are “not looking to start the impeachment process as a regular occurring event in Wisconsin.”


The Wisconsin Legislature would need a majority vote from the Assembly and a supermajority in the Senate to remove Protasiewicz from office. Wisconsin leaders have not impeached a state Supreme Court justice since 1853 when Justice Levi Hubbell was accused of accepting bribes as a circuit court judge. He was acquitted of the crime, but he later resigned because of what he deemed to be too low of a salary, according to the Wisconsin Court System.

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