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Wisconsin GOP lawmakers want justice removed from redistricting case

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(The Center Square) – If newly-elected Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz will not step aside from Wisconsin’s pending redistricting cases, Republican lawmakers in the state say she should be removed.

A dozen state senators recently filed a motion Tuesday and made public Wednesday with the Supreme Court of Wisconsin asking the court to remove Protasiewicz.

“During that campaign, Justice Protasiewicz publicly declared the current legislative maps ‘unfair’ and ‘rigged’ in favor of Republicans,” the senators said in their filing. “She publicly stated that she would like to take ‘a fresh look at the gerrymandering question.’”

The senators also said Protasiewicz publicly said she agreed with the dissenters in the Supreme Court case that upheld Wisconsin’s current political maps.

The Republicans also pointed to Protasiewicz’s ties to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which they say would benefit greatly if the current political maps are overturned.

“The risk of actual bias exists here because the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, the primary and intended beneficiary of Petitioners’ claims, was the main contributor to Justice Protasiewicz’s campaign for a seat on this Court, providing almost $10 million of the $16.7 million spent by her campaign,” the Republicans added.

Protasiewicz did speak about Wisconsin’s redistricting process, and the state’s political maps during her campaign for the Supreme Court. She defended her comments as talking about her values.

The 12 state senators are all of those who were elected in 2022, and who would be forced to run again or possibly removed from office if Wisconsin’s current political map is redrawn by the court.

“One day after Justice Protasiewicz joined the Court, [progressive groups] filed a petition asking this Court to exercise original jurisdiction over partisan gerrymandering claims and draw its own maps designed ‘to achieve a Democratic majority in the state legislature,’” the Republicans added.

Progressive groups asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month to declare the current maps unconstitutional, draw new maps before next year’s elections, and force 17 state senators to run again in newly drawn districts.

Protasiewicz told the Associated Press on Wednesday that she didn’t have anything to say about the Republican request for her to step away from the redistricting case.

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