Wisconsin state senate candidate says he ‘certainly would consider’ impeaching judge running for state Supreme Court

A candidate for the Wisconsin state Senate said in an interview this week that he “certainly would consider” impeaching a judge running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s open seat.

Wisconsin state Rep. Dan Knodl (R) – who is running in a state Senate special election –  said in an interview on “Upfront” that “I certainly would consider it” when asked if he would support impeaching Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz.

Knodl is running for the 8th Senate District, a special election next Tuesday that will determine whether Republicans hold a supermajority in the upper chamber. If Republicans hold a supermajority in the state Senate, it would give the party a decisive say on impeachments. The race coincides with the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

The state Senate candidate nodded to the GOP’s ability to impeach officials and put other law enforcement officials and judges on notice.

“I’ve been up front over the last couple years that I feel the Milwaukee County justice system is failing, and that includes prosecutions. So D.A. [John] Chisholm, I think, should be looked at, and I’ve already called for his resignation,” Knodl said.

“The judges, the circuit court judges, I think, have failed the community by releasing or not having a high enough bail on these criminals, the perpetrators. And so they need to be looked at. And Janet Protasiewicz, is a circuit court judge right now in Milwaukee, and she has failed.”

Knodl’s comments come ahead of a consequential Wisconsin Supreme Court election, where Protasiewicz is vying for an open seat on the high court against former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly. While the judicial election is technically nonpartisan, Protasiewicz is seen as the liberal candidate in the race while Kelly has been viewed as the conservative candidate.

Whoever wins the race will determine the partisan tilt of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which is split along ideological lines with the retirement of outgoing Justice Patience Roggensack.

Among some of the issues that the high court could rule on include a contested 1849 abortion law, possible legal challenges to the state’s legislative maps and potential 2024 election disputes.

In a statement responding to Knodl’s comments, Protasiewicz’s campaign took the opportunity to target her opponent Kelly.

“Dan Kelly’s own supporters know voters are going to reject his extremism and corruption a second time,” Sam Roecker, a spokesman for her campaign, said in a statement.

“It’s not surprising that the same people supporting this absurd plan to overturn the will of the people stand with Dan Kelly, a partisan operative who advised on the plan to overturn Wisconsin’s election results in 2020 and who has welcomed an insurrectionist to the campaign trail with open arms.”

Knodl was among the signers of a letter to former Vice President Pence following the 2020 election urging him to postpone the certification of the election results, arguing that “the 2020 election witnessed an unprecedented and admitted defiance of state law and procedural irregularities,” according to Wisconsin Examiner.

However, Knodl argued in a recent interview with Wisconsin Public Radio “I don’t deny the outcome of the election” while still contending that “there were abnormalities that happened in that election.”

Kelly has previously done work for the Wisconsin GOP and had “pretty extensive conservations” regarding a scheme to appoint an alternative slate of electors following Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin, according to former Wisconsin GOP chair Andrew Hitt, The Associated Press reported.

Kelly’s campaign told the AP the candidate “took a call from RPW Chairman Hitt on the subject of Republican electors and was asked if he was in the loop about this issue and Justice Kelly stated he was not.”

Tags Daniel Kelly Janet Protasiewicz wisconsin supreme court

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