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As Wisconsin Supreme Court Takes Up Maps Case, Impeachment Threat Looms

The liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case challenging the state’s Republican-drawn legislative districts, a decision that could spur impeachment proceedings against a newly elected justice, Janet Protasiewicz, who refused to recuse herself from the case.


The decision to accept the case — known as an original action because it means the case will bypass Wisconsin’s trial and appeals courts — comes over the objections of at least two of the court’s three conservative justices and the state’s leading Republicans, who have threatened to impeach Protasiewicz before she can rule on it.


“Recusal decisions are controlled by the law,” Protasiewicz wrote in her 47-page decision to remain on the case. “They are not a matter of personal preference. If precedent requires it, I must recuse. But if precedent does not warrant recusal, my oath binds me to participate.”