Janet Protasiewicz refuses to recuse herself from high-profile redistricting case on which she campaigned

 October 25, 2023

There's some shady Supreme Court business happening in the state of Wisconsin, and many aren't happy about it.

According to Breitbart, state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who was very publicly against a legislative redistricting plan during her candidacy, is refusing to recuse herself from a case involving that plan.

Dissenting state Supreme Court justices said her decision to stay on the case is "partisan and political," and "likely approaches 100 percent" that she would be in violation of the Constitution’s Due Process Clause.

Breitbart noted:

The Republican-controlled legislature redrew legislative districts for the Badger State following the most recent census, and Democrats predictably sued. When running for the supreme court, Protasiewicz condemned the plan as a partisan gerrymander. After Protasiewicz joined the bench, the court voted 4-3 to hear the case.

“I don’t think you could sell any reasonable person that the maps are fair," Protasiewicz said during her campaign, calling the maps "rigged" and "unfair."

She added at the time that she "would enjoy taking a fresh look at the gerrymandering question."

In a 64-page order, Protasiewicz said though the case "engendered strong feelings," she would not recuse herself from it, saying that she had searched the law and her "conscience" before making a final decision.

Chief Justice Annette Ziegler did not agree with her move, saying hearing the case "appears to be evidence of a partisan and political, rather than a reasoned and restrained, approach, and thus departs from the constitutional role of the judiciary."

An additional dissenter, Justice Rebecca Bradley, wrote that the "probability of actual bias on Protasiewicz’s part likely approaches 100 percent."

Notably, Democratic donors pumped a record amount of money into her campaign, making it the most expensive state Supreme Court justice campaign in history.

It doesn't take a political science major to understand why Democrats were set on getting her on the bench.

Only time will tell what happens in the redistricting case, and Protasiewicz's involvement will undoubtedly be heavily watched.