Ever since the State Supreme Court flipped from conservative to liberal majority earlier this month with the swearing in of Justice Janet Protasiewicz, the court has dominated headlines through their actions, lawsuits filed, and legislative reaction. It doesn’t help we’re in a Summer Recess at both the state and federal level, so not much else is going on, politically. The latest headline involves Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) calling for Justice Protasiewicz to recuse herself from certain cases she commented on during the campaign.
Judicial candidates, whether running for elected office or under consideration for an appointment to the Federal bench, usually take a pass on commenting on cases that they could end up hearing should their election or appointment be successful. Protasiewicz took a different tack during the campaign, assuring voters she would overturn legislative maps approved by state and federal courts last year.
With the Democratic Party of Wisconsin contributing $10 million to her campaign directly, Protasiewicz said she would recuse herself if DPW was a party to a case.
With the redistricting lawsuit filed a day after she was sworn in, the liberal plaintiffs clearly believe she will not recuse and vote in their favor. Attorneys asked the Court to take up the case immediately, bypassing Circuit Court and Court of Appeals. It remains to be seen if they will do so, but should the Court order new maps, they would need to be in place by next April when candidates begin to run for office.