One GOP rep won’t, another not sure about impeaching Protasiewicz



(The Center Square) – As talk continues to grow about possibly impeaching Wisocnsin’s newest State Supreme Court justice, some Republican lawmakers are making it clear they’re not ready.

Rep. Scott Johnson declared he will never be a yes vote to impeach Justice Janet Protasiewicz.

“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,” Johnson said in a statement.

Some Republican lawmakers have talked about impeaching Protasiewicz if she does not recuse herself from redistricting and abortion cases that are headed for the state Supreme Court.

They contend Protasiewicz prejudiced herself during the spring campaign for the court by calling the maps “rigged” and “unfair.” She also talked about her views on protecting abortion access in Wisconsin.

“The people spoke. 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,” Johnson added.

Republican Rep. Joy Goeben, R-Hobart, was on Capitol City Sunday in Madison, and she didn’t embrace a Protasiewicz impeachment either.

“I think impeachment is a word that’s getting thrown around really easily,” Goben said. “I have had very little conversation about impeachment. So, I don’t know everybody else’s plan, or focus.”

Goben said she thinks Protasiewicz, and all other judges, “need to be held to the standards of their office. And I sincerely hope that good decisions will be made.”

The top Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, have said Protasiewicz can avoid impeachment by stepping aside on redistricting and abortion cases that come before the Supreme Court.

Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, went on MSNBC over the weekend to say the impeachment talk is more than just talk.

“There’s a pause right now to see if they’re going to be able to move forward, and testing to see if they have the votes in the Assembly,” Larson said.

Republicans have a super-majority in the Wisconsin Senate, and nearly have one in the Assembly.

Senate Republicans would need every single GOP vote to remove Protasiewicz from the bench.

But, it takes just a simple majority vote in the Assembly to impeach. That means Wisconsin Republicans, with their 65-seat majority, can lose a number of state representatives and still vote to impeach Protasiewicz.

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