“Why Republicans Could Impeach a Liberal Judge Before She’s Heard a Case”


Republicans in Wisconsin are coalescing around the prospect of impeaching a newly seated liberal justice on the state’s Supreme Court, whose victory in a costly, high-stakes election this spring swung the court in Democrats’ favor and threatened the G.O.P.’s iron grip on state politics.

The push, just five weeks after Justice Janet Protasiewicz joined the court and before she has heard a single case, serves as a last-ditch effort to stop the new 4-to-3 liberal majority from throwing out Republican-drawn state legislative maps and legalizing abortion in Wisconsin.

The drama over Republican threats to impeach and possibly remove Justice Protasiewicz could raise new questions about democracy and the legitimacy of elections in a state where G.O.P. lawmakers and their allies spent two years disputing the 2020 presidential contest’s outcome.

For Republicans, the liberal Supreme Court majority serves as an existential danger. If the court, as expected, invalidates Wisconsin’s legislative maps, it would strip Republicans of what now amounts to permanent majorities in the Legislature. But removing a newly elected justice could prompt a backlash in 2024 from Democrats and moderate Republican voters who abandoned the G.O.P. during the Trump years.

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