Sen. Wimberger Said Protasiewicz’ “Refusal To Be Transparent About The Judicial Commission Complaints Indicates Corrupt Purpose.”
“‘Her refusal to be transparent about the Judicial Commission complaints indicates corrupt purpose.’ Sen. Eric Wimberger, R-Green Bay, quote on Justice Protasiewicz is significant for 2 reasons: 1) GOP is building case to impeach 2) Lawmakers must fulfill all records requests” [Twitter, @MatthewD4th, 9/22/23]
Vos Said He Wanted To Avoid “The Nuclear Option” Of Impeachment, But Suggested That The Democratic Party Of Wisconsin’s Contributions To Protasiewicz And The $4 Million Defend Justice Campaign “Makes Her So Biased.”
ROBIN VOS [00:05:52]: “But it also makes the case for what we’ve been saying is that the $10 million they spent on the campaign, the $4 million that they are now spending on Janet Protasiewicz makes her so biased, that she needs to take herself off this case. So if we’re now offering a middle ground, and they are still saying, absolutely not, we want Janet Protasiewicz on this case, that’s because in my mind, they think that she’s already made the decision that she’s gonna side with them. So we have the biased court that we’ve been saying since the very beginning. So there aren’t a lot of options left. And I don’t want to have to pull the nuclear option. I just don’t want to do it if we can help it. And I feel like we’ve given plenty of off ramps to do it, if they would just be willing to work with us and take any of the ones that we’ve offered.” [WSAU, 9/14/23] (AUDIO)
LeMahieu Said He Had Not Held Discussions On Impeachment With Members Of The Senate Republican Caucus.
EMILEE FANNON [00:03:51]: “Where are your Republican caucus, where do they stand on impeachment? Have you had those discussions?” DEVIN LEMAHIEU: “We have not.” [WDJT, 9/13/23] (VIDEO)
Speaker Robin Vos Announced That A Panel, Comprised Of Former Members Of The Wisconsin Supreme Court, Would Advise Him On The Criteria For Impeachment
Speaker Vos Announced The Formation Of A Panel To Investigate The Criteria For Impeachment Of A Supreme Court Justice. “Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly leader announced Wednesday that he’s created a panel to investigate the criteria for impeachment as he mulls taking that unprecedented step against a liberal state Supreme Court justice. Republicans are targeting Justice Janet Protasiewicz over comments she made during her winning campaign about redistricting and nearly $10 million in donations she received from the state Democratic Party. The impeachment criteria panel being created by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will consist of three former Wisconsin Supreme Court justices whom Vos told The Associated Press he would not name until after their work is done. Vos said they were not being paid and he expected their work to be complete in the ‘next few weeks.’” [Associated Press, 9/13/23]
Vos Announced The Panel, Comprised Of Former Members Of The Supreme Court, Would Help To Establish Criteria For Impeachment “So That We Are Ready To Go If It Is Required.” ROBIN VOS [00:44:41]: “So what I’m doing, I’ll announce this on your show, what I’m doing is I am asking a panel of former members of the state supreme court to review and advise what the criteria are for impeachment. And to be able to go to the next step of this process. If we’re not able to determine an offramp. My preference would be to have some sort of, you know, this process that we’ve talked about with non-partisan redistricting, I think it’s good for the state. You know, look, we’ve come around, I don’t have any fear of having a fair process. But if you have a justice that has predetermined cases, and is not going to take themselves off the case, I want to know what all of our options are, so that we are ready to go if it is required, you know, that is my last option.” [WISN, 9/13/23] (AUDIO)
Rep. Snyder Discouraged Efforts To Impeach Justice Protasiewicz “Right Off The Bat,” Noting That Getting Sufficient Support In The Senate Could Be A Challenge.
“Rep. Patrick Snyder, R-Schofield, said in an interview with the Cap Times Tuesday that getting the Senate on board would likely be a more difficult prospect, even if legislative leaders in his chamber are able to get the necessary support. But even if Protasiewicz were to be impeached and any subsequent legal challenge was nullified, Snyder noted that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers would be able to pick her replacement, a move that would all but certainly keep the court’s current 4-3 liberal majority in place. ‘I think ethically, she should do it (recuse herself),’ he said. ‘But to impeach her, right off the bat? I guess I would discourage it.’” [Cap Times, 9/12/23]
Representatives Allen, Armstrong, Dittrich, Kurtz, Neylon, Pronschinske, Schmidt, And Steffen “Declined To Comment” When Asked How They Planned To Vote On Impeachment.
“At the same time, none of the 64 Republican members of the Assembly committed to voting to ‘yes’ to impeach Protasiewicz when surveyed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in recent days. […] Most Assembly Republicans — 51 of 64 — did not respond to the Journal Sentinel’s inquiries. Reps. Scott Allen, David Armstrong, Barbara Dittrich, Tony Kurtz, Adam Neylon, Treig Pronschinske, Peter Schmidt and David Steffen responded but declined to comment.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/12/23]
Rep. O’Connor Said He Was “Waiting On More Information” To Determine Whether There “Is A Case To Be Rendered” On The Proposed Impeachment Of Justice Protasiewicz.
“Most Assembly Republicans — 51 of 64 — did not respond to the Journal Sentinel’s inquiries. Reps. Scott Allen, David Armstrong, Barbara Dittrich, Tony Kurtz, Adam Neylon, Treig Pronschinske, Peter Schmidt and David Steffen responded but declined to comment. Two lawmakers said they’re ‘waiting on more information.’ Our office has requested more information to determine of there is a case to be rendered. No decisions at this time,’ said Rep. Jerry O’Connor, R-Fond du Lac.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/12/23]
A Spokesperson For Rep. Melotik Said “As Facts Roll In” Melotik “Will Look At Them And Decide The Best Path” On The Proposed Impeachment Of Justice Protasiewicz.
“Most Assembly Republicans — 51 of 64 — did not respond to the Journal Sentinel’s inquiries. Reps. Scott Allen, David Armstrong, Barbara Dittrich, Tony Kurtz, Adam Neylon, Treig Pronschinske, Peter Schmidt and David Steffen responded but declined to comment. Two lawmakers said they’re ‘waiting on more information.’ Our office has requested more information to determine of there is a case to be rendered. No decisions at this time,’ said Rep. Jerry O’Connor, R-Fond du Lac. Rep. Paul Melotik, R-Grafton, said he currently has no position ‘as no crime has been committed.’ ‘As facts roll in he will look at them and decide the best path,’ Melotik spokesman Nathan Anfinson said in an email.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/12/23]
Asked Whether Republicans Had The Votes To Impeach Protasiewicz, Rep. August Said Assembly Republicans “Haven’t Even Had Those Conversations.”
MATT SMITH [00:05:53]: “Do you have the votes in the Assembly if it gets to that?” TYLER AUGUST: “We haven’t even had those conversations yet and I think it’s because both myself and the speaker and the members of our caucus, we really believe that she’s going to recuse herself because it’s the right thing to do.” [WISN, 9/10/23] (VIDEO)
Rep. Johnson: “I Will NOT Vote In Favor Of Impeachment.”
A press release from Johnson’s office read in part: “I did not vote for ‘candidate Protasiewicz, and I certainly do not agree with Justice Protasiewicz, especially when it comes to her openness on election maps in our state. Elections have consequences. I will be honest in saying that I would encourage the Justice to recuse herself from this case. However, I will NOT vote in favor of impeachment.” [Twitter, @AlexanderShur, 9/8/23]
Legislative Democrats Announced Their United Opposition To Impeachment Efforts, Pledging To Do Everything In Their Power To Prevent Any Attempt To Impeach, Convict, And Remove Justice Protasiewicz.
“Earlier this year, Justice Janet Protasiewicz was elected by the people of Wisconsin. Now, legislative Republicans, in an unprecedented attempt to override the will of voters, are threatening to impeach Justice Protasiewicz before she has the opportunity to hear a single case. Legislative Democrats are united in our opposition to this anti-democratic abuse of power. […] We will do everything in our power to prevent this egregious effort to undermine our democracy.” [Wisconsin Legislature, Press Release, 9/6/23]
Rep. Sortwell: “It’s Literally Written Into The State Constitution” That Impeachment “Is The Mechanism For Oversight.”
SHAE SORTWELL [00:00:47]: “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. I’m not saying it’s necessary today, I’m not saying it’s not necessary.” [WITI, 9/6/23] (VIDEO)
Rep. August Deflected When Asked Directly About Impeachment, Stating “I Don’t Think It’s Going To Come To That Because I Think She’ll Do The Right Thing And Recuse Herself.”
REPORTER [00:01:03]: “We asked Assembly majority leader Tyler August about the possibility of impeachment.” TYLER AUGUST [00:01:08]: “It’s really up to her. I don’t think it’s going to come to that because I think she’ll do the right thing and recuse herself.” [WTMJ, 9/7/23] (VIDEO)
Rep. Born Dismissed Speculation On A Potential Impeachment, Stating “I Have Hopes That It Doesn’t Come To That.”
SARA MASLAR-DONAR [00:00:00]: “Lawmakers in your party have indicated that impeachment could be on the table for State Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz if she doesn’t recuse herself from the redistricting case that could come before the court. Do you support impeachment of the justice?” MARK BORN: “You know something like impeachment is a constitutional thing that’s assigned to the legislature for elected officials that have misconduct in public office. It’s a very serious thing, it’s a major thing to think about and deliberate on and so certainly is something that if brought before the Assembly, we’ll have to take a serious look at, but I don’t think it’s worth speculating on some actions that someone might take. I think I have hopes that it doesn’t come to that and that elected officials follow their oath of office and the constitution and do an ethical job for the people of Wisconsin.” [Twitter, @SaraMDNews, 9/1/23] (VIDEO)
Rep. Vos Stated That If Protasiewicz “Breaks Precedent” And Violates Norms By Participating In The Redistricting Case, Impeachment Would Be “One Of The Duties We Need To Look At.”
ROBIN VOS [00:09:37]: “And that’s where I hope is we never even get to the idea of talking about impeachment because when you raise your right hand and you swear an oath to the Constitution, you should follow the precedents that have been set before and you don’t prejudge your case. You say that you are independent when you really are, and you allow the process to work. Its way forward. Now, she made promises to her political supporters of doing something, well, that’s wrong for the court. If she does that, that will certainly be something that is clearly outside the norms. And, you know, I don’t want to have an impeachment. That’s not my goal. But I think that any independent person would say it’s one of the duties we need to look at it, if somebody breaks precedent and does something that is clearly outside the judicial code of ethics. We have to take a look at it.” [WTMJ, 8/31/23] (AUDIO)
Rep. Macco Said He Was Unsure Whether Impeachment “Is Really The Right Way To Go,” But That If Protasiewicz Was “An Honorable Person,” She Would Recuse Herself From Cases On Redistricting And Abortion
JOHN MACCO [00:01:08]: “I don’t know whether that is really the right way to go. In my understanding, there has never been an impeachment here in the state of Wisconsin of a sitting Supreme Court Judge. I can tell you that if she was an honorable person she would recuse herself from both the abortion question when it comes up, as well as the redistricting question.” [WITI, 9/6/23] (VIDEO)
Rep. Allen Said He Would “Have To Read The Resolution,” Claiming That Protasiewicz “Made It Clear That She Is Not An Unbiased Judge.”
[00:01:21] AJ BAYATPOUR: “Republican lawmakers on Wednesday did not confirm that they are on board with impeachment, but they didn’t rule it out either.” SCOTT ALLEN: “I’d have to read the resolution. I think that she has certainly made it clear that she is not an unbiased judge, and that’s what we expect of our Supreme Court.” [WDJT, 9/6/23] (VIDEO)
Sen. Knodl Said There Would Be A “Compelling Case” To Impeach Protasiewicz If She Participates In The Redistricting Case.
EMILEE FANNON: “If she doesn’t recuse herself on redistricting, would you support moving forward on impeachment?” DAN KNODL: “Yes. I think there’s going to be…we’ll see what she does with these suits that come forward, the ones that are already in motion, but there’s going to be a compelling case. That’s going to be very concerning if she sits on that court and rules on these things.” [Twitter, @Emilee_Fannon, 8/30/23] (VIDEO)
Sen. LeMahieu Deflected When Asked Directly About Impeachment, Stating Only “We Need To Know If She’s Going To Recuse Herself.”
EMILEE FANNON [00:00:23]: “But what about impeachment, would you want your senate, your caucus to move forward with that if it got passed over by the Assembly?” DEVIN LEMAHIEU [00:00:29]: “We need to know if she’s going to recuse herself, that’s the question right now and that should be the story. Is that she’s biased, she’s prejudged the case, and she needs to step up and not be part of this case because she’s already said that the maps are rigged and she’s bought and paid for by the Democrat party.” [Twitter, @Emilee_Fannon, 9/7/23] (VIDEO)
Sen. Stroebel Said Impeaching Protasiewicz Was Unlikely, “But Certainly Not Impossible.”
“Mr. Stroebel, the Republican state senator from Cedarburg, called impeaching Judge Protasiewicz over expected rulings on abortion and gerrymandering unlikely ‘but certainly not impossible.’ ‘If she truly acts in terms of ignoring our laws and applying her own personal beliefs, then maybe that’s something people will talk about,’ he said. ‘If the rulings are contrary to what our state laws and Constitution say, I think there could be an issue.’” [New York Times, 4/4/23]
In A September 1, 2023 Newsletter Sen. Wangaard Stated That The Legislature’s “Only Way To Hold Justices Accountable Is The Very Serious Step Of Impeachment,” And Followed “All Options Need To Be On The Table.”
Who holds Supreme Court justices accountable when they act in violation of the constitution, the law and Supreme Court rules? Judicial Commissioners are supposed to hold justices accountable, but their actions must be approved by the same justices that appeared to violate their oaths. The voters only get to hold a single justice accountable every 10 years, and the next election isn’t for two more years. The legislature’s only way to hold justices accountable is the very serious step of impeachment. I don’t know what the right answer is to restore the rule of law in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but all options need to be on the table.” [State Sen. Van Wanggard, E-Newsletter, 9/1/23]
In April 2023, Sen. LeMahieu Repeatedly Stated That The Senate Would Not Move To Impeach Protasiewicz.
April 2023: Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu Said The Senate Was Not Considering Impeaching Justice-Elect Janet Protasiewicz When Asked By WisPolitics. “Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said the Senate is not considering impeaching liberal Supreme Court Justice-elect Janet Protasiewicz. ‘No,’ he told WisPolitics.com when asked if anyone’s on the chopping block now that the Senate has the two-thirds majority needed to impeach someone.” [WisPolitics, 4/6/23]
Sen. LeMahieu: “We Are Not Looking To Start The Impeachment Process As A Regular, Occurring Event In Wisconsin.” GABRIELLA GARZA [00:00:00]: “Do you support starting that process to remove any constitutional officers or judges?” DEVIN LEMAHIEU [00:00:06]: “Well as a correction I don’t think he spoke a lot about it. He was asked about it on one station so he answered off the cuff. To impeach someone they would need to do something very serious, so no we are not looking to start the impeachment process as a regular, occurring event in Wisconsin.” [Twitter, @mattsmith_news, 4/5/23] (VIDEO)
Sen. LeMahieu: Impeachment “Shouldn’t Be Used As a Tool To Overturn Elections.” DEVIN LEMAHIEU [00:00:02]: “For impeachment to succeed there has to be a serious crime, a misdemeanor, something like that. And it shouldn’t be used as a tool to overturn elections.” [Twitter, @JasonCalvi, 4/5/23] (VIDEO)
Sen. LeMahieu: “Being Someone Who Doesn’t Agree With You Politically Is Not A Reason To Impeach Someone.” DEVIN LEMAHIEU [00:01:21]: “It just has to be something very serious that an elected official or a public official does, and being someone who doesn’t agree with you politically is not a reason to impeach someone.” [WITI, 4/5/23] (VIDEO)
Asked Whether The Senate Would Impeach Protasiewicz “For What She’s Done As A Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge,” LeMahieu Responded Flatly: “No.” VICTOR JACOBO [00:00:29]: “The Senate’s top Republican told CBS 58 he’s not interested.” “So when Representative Knodl floats the idea of potentially impeaching Janet Protasiewicz for what she’s done as a Milwaukee circuit court judge, that’s not something you would pursue?” DEVIN LEMAHIEU: “No.” [WDJT, 4/5/23] (VIDEO)