Wisconsin Republicans are already considering impeaching newly elected Democratic state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who won in a landslide victory.
Protasiewicz won Tuesday night with 55.5 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times, flipping the state’s high court to the left for the first time in 15 years. The election was the most expensive state judicial race in U.S. history, and the outcome will determine the future of abortion rights and electoral districts in Wisconsin.
Her win comes ahead of a challenge to Wisconsin’s abortion law. Abortion is currently banned in the state by a law from 1849, which was triggered after Roe v. Wade was overturned. A lawsuit challenging the legislation is due to be heard in court next month, and the case is expected to reach the state Supreme Court. Protasiewicz’s win means abortion rights are now likely to triumph.
Knodl has already floated the idea of impeaching Protasiewicz. Last week, he said he would “certainly consider” launching impeachment proceedings against her.
“I feel the Milwaukee County justice system is failing,” he told the local political talk show UpFront, adding that he thought Protasiewicz “has failed” in her then role as circuit court judge.
Knodl is no stranger to refusing to accept democratic outcomes: He was one of 15 Wisconsin legislators who urged then–Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
His idea to impeach Protasiewicz gained support from Republican state Senator Duey Stroebel, who called the plan unlikely but “certainly not impossible.”
“If she truly acts in terms of ignoring our laws and applying her own personal beliefs, then maybe that’s something people will talk about,” he said last week, referring to her stances on abortion and gerrymandering. “If the rulings are contrary to what our state laws and Constitution say, I think there could be an issue.”
Protasiewicz’s opponent, Dan Kelly—who gave a historically terrible concession speech—has also made his personal stances on issues such as abortion clear, arguing that pro–abortion rights groups want to “preserve sexual libertinism” and comparing the procedure to murder. Presumably, Republicans wanted him to win because of those views.