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Wisconsin Supreme Court Taken Over By Liberals, So That's Illegal Obviously
And the chief justice is piiiiiissssed.
After 15 years of control by conservatives, Wisconsin’s state supreme court gained a new liberal majority with the swearing-in on Tuesday of Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who won election to the court in April after the most expensive election for supreme court in Wisconsin’s history.
Wisconsin progressives hope that the new four-seat liberal majority on the state supreme court will serve as a counterbalance to the heavily gerrymandered state Legislature, where Republicans have rigged electoral maps to ensure a supermajority in a state that has roughly equal Democratic and Republican registered voters. Heck, there’s even hope that Protasiewicz (it’s pronounced “pro-ta-SAY-witz”) and her three liberal colleagues will have a chance to restore some kind of balance to the state’s electoral maps.
But first, there’s a snit! Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, now part of the three-justice conservative minority, issued a lengthy statement yesterday blasting one of the new majority’s first actions as “reckless,” “dangerous,” “shameful,” and a “raw exercise of overreaching power.”
My god, did they try to subvert an election? Overturn established precedent based on novel legal theories they just made up, leaving millions without a right they’d assumed would always be there? Or maybe leave a dish made with canned clams in the Supreme Fridge?
Far worse! The majority chose to fire the director of Wisconsin’s court system, Randy Koschnick, who held the job for six years. He’d previously been a state judge, and unsuccessfully ran for the state supreme court in 2009, challenging liberal then-Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
Ziegler explained — writing in language that sounds a like dissent to a court decision, not a statement about a personnel matter — that she wasn’t mad, just very, very disappointed.
“We are a collegial court, not a court of four. I expect better of my colleagues. A vote of four may dictate decisions of our court, but those votes are taken during formally noticed court conferences scheduled by the Chief Justice; no such conference has occurred. […] Apparently several of my colleagues do not think court conferences are necessary to conduct court business when there is a pre-ordained determination. Their actions today effectively silence those members of the court who have not been privy to these secret discussions.”
Secret discussions! Somehow, she managed not to refer to Koshnick’s firing as the work of a Star Chamber.
Ziegler also complained that the “unauthorized” firing of Koshnick undercut her authority as chief justice, and that it was illegal and probably even unconstitutional, but that she wouldn’t take any formal action to try to prevent it because she feared that “given my colleagues’ reckless conduct, other court employees would also become victims,” because you know how liberals are, with their ideological purges and partisan witch hunts and their fanatical devotion to stacking institutions with their leftwing allies.
This is where we point out that the four rampaging liberal justices selected Milwaukee County Judge Audrey Skwierawski to replace Koshnick as interim director of the state courts, and that Judge Skwierawski was appointed to the bench in 2018 by that notorious Marxist firebrand, Gov. Scott Walker (R).
So far, none of the lawless members of the court’s new majority has commented on why they chose to replace Koshnick, probably because they’re hiding out in a secret liberal lair to plan more nefarious deviltry through the raw exercise of unchecked partisan power, almost as if they were Republicans in the gerrymandered state Legislature.
Speaking of which, a million years ago in 2022, Wisconsin’s supreme court, with Chief Justice Ziegler writing for the majority, upheld the Legislature’s insanely gerrymandered district maps, virtually guaranteeing a GOP supermajority in both houses. Like, if you wanna talk about partisan overreach.
We do hope Chief Justice Ziegler will forgive us if we fail to be moved by her very impressive crocodile tears about how the new majority on Wisconsin’s supreme court has gone mad with power, which she says she fears is “only the beginning.” It might be a little more persuasive if Wisconsin Republicans hadn’t spent the last 15 years concentrating more and more power for themselves, literally trying to strip power from Gov. Tony Evers (D) before he even took office, and in the case of the most recent GOP nominee for governor, Tim Michels, bragging that “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I'm elected governor.”
Still, we did enjoy this little snippet from Wisconsin Public Radio about Ziegler’s little snippy fit.
While Ziegler described the move as unprecedented, it's not the first time changes to the inner workings of the court have sparked controversy. In 2015, following the approval of a constitutional amendment by voters, the court's conservative majority swapped out a liberal chief justice for a conservative one.
Isn’t that just precious?
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