Republicans controlling the Wisconsin Legislature asked the latest Democratic-backed judge on the state Supreme Court to recuse themselves Seeking to overturn the lawsuits Electoral maps drawn by the GOP, arguing that it assessed matters with bias.
In their motions filed Tuesday with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and made public Wednesday, Republicans argued that Justice Janet Protasiewicz could not impartially hear cases because of documents prepared by Republicans during her campaign for the seat earlier this year. He called the maps “improper” and “rigged” and said that “the issue needs a fresh look.”
“Justice Protasiewicz’s campaign statements show that she has a very big thumb in this case,” the Republicans argued in their motion to side with the court.
Protasiewicz, who was supported by the Democrats win the election in april, has never said how she would rule on the redistricting lawsuit. He never made a commitment to recuse himself from hearing the case. His victory gave the Liberals a 4–3 majority on the court.
Protasiewicz promised to recuse himself from any case brought by the Wisconsin Democratic Party after it donated nearly $10 million to his campaign. There are two pending redistricting lawsuits, neither of which was brought by the Democratic Party.
However, the Republican-led legislature argued that because redrawing the maps would benefit Democrats, Protasiewicz should recuse himself from hearing the case. They argue that staying on the case would violate Republicans’ constitutional due process rights.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said that if Protasiewicz does not recuse herself from the redistricting issue, she will look into it. His impeachment is being pursued. Republicans have a two-thirds majority in the state Senate, which would be enough votes to remove Protasiewicz from office if the assembly voted to impeach him. However, his replacement would be named by Democratic Governor Tony Evers.
Protasiewicz began his 10-year term in August. That week, two similar redistricting lawsuits were filed. The legislature wanted to intervene in both lawsuits and have Protasiewicz recuse himself from both.
Protasiewicz did not respond to a request for comment left with a court spokesman.
The attorneys who brought the two redistricting cases did not immediately comment.
Wisconsin’s assembly districts are among the most crowded districts nationally, with Republicans regularly winning far more seats than expected based on their average share of the vote. An Associated Press analysis,
Both lawsuits state that all 132 legislators in the state be up for election in newly elected districts that year. In Senate districts that fall in the middle of a four-year term in 2024, a special election will be held, with the winner serving a two-year term. The regular four-year cycle will begin again in 2026.
A lawsuit was filed by Madison-based libertarian law firm Law Forward, the Stafford Rosenbaum law firm, the Election Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Arnold & Porter law firm on behalf of voters who support the Democrats.
The second case was brought by voters who support Democratic candidates and several members of the Citizens Mathematicians and Scientists Association. That group of professors and research scientists presented proposed legislative maps in 2022 before the state Supreme Court adopted Republican-drawn maps.