MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Rep. Scott Johnson (R-Jefferson) on Friday became the first GOP lawmaker to vow not to impeach Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz.
“I was one of the 1,839,656 voters who cast a ballot in the Supreme Court race. The end result was Janet Protasiewicz winning the race,” Johnson said in a statement. “The people spoke. I did not vote for ‘candidate’ Protasiewicz, and I certainly do not agree with Justice Protasiewicz, especially when it comes to her openness on election maps in our state.”
He continued by saying he hopes Protasiewicz “rescues” herself from the situation and that he will not vote in favor of impeachment.
“The people of Wisconsin have historically shown that they do not support uprooting a duly elected official on the sheer basis of political disagreement,” he said. “Our court has shifted in a new direction, which is the consequence of an election.”
State Republicans are discussing impeaching the justice before she has heard a case, pointing to the nearly $10 million she received from the Democratic Party as proof that she cannot fairly rule on redistricting cases that could weaken the GOP’s hold on the Legislature.
Protasiewicz’s win in April flipped majority control of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court from conservative to liberal for the first time in 15 years.
On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Democratic Party launched a $4 million effort to pressure Republicans to back down from impeaching.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.