A recently elected state Supreme Court justice who tipped the high court to the left for the first time in years is now in danger of being impeached by the GOP-controlled legislature.

Wisconsin’s Assembly Speaker Robin Vos issued a new threat to the state Supreme Court’s newest and most left-wing member, Janet Protasiewicz, if she chooses not to recuse herself from certain upcoming cases.

During an interview with WSAU Radio on Friday, Vos contended that statements made by Protasiewicz on the campaign trail, where she referred to Wisconsin’s electoral maps as “rigged” and in need of rectification, should morally render her ineligible to participate in voting on those maps.

“If there is any semblance of honor on the state Supreme Court left, you cannot have a person who runs for the court prejudging a case and being open about it, and then acting on the case as if you’re an impartial observer,” Vos said.

In April, Protasiewicz achieved a groundbreaking victory in an election that shattered records, besting former Justice Daniel Kelly to secure the highly sought-after position on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Her win shifted the majority away from conservatives who had held power for 15 years, establishing her as the pivotal vote concerning matters such as abortion rights, political boundary configurations, and potentially even influencing the outcome of the 2024 presidential race.

Democrats portrayed the state high court contest as their final opportunity to prevent Republicans from maintaining control over the critical battleground state, while conservatives criticized Protasiewicz’s lack of objectivity.

The race between Kelly and Protasiewicz marked the costliest state Supreme Court context ever recorded, with approximately $45 million spent by special interest organizations.

The financial backing included contributions from notable figures such as liberal megadonor George Soros and Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, the latter a prominent conservative family known for involvement in Republican policies.

Vos said the word “impeachment” has been thrown around a lot, but it would only come about after serious consideration and depending on what actions Protasiewicz takes — or doesn’t take.

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“The idea that we’re going to immediately start an impeachment process is probably too radical,” Vos said. “I want to look and see, does she recuse herself on cases where she is prejudged? That, to me, is something that is at the oath of office and what she said she was going to do to uphold the Constitution. That, to me, is a serious offense.”

Democrats have complained that Republican threats of impeachment are all political.

“[Protasiewicz] has been proven to be resoundingly popular with the people of the state of Wisconsin who are fed up with Republican antics,” Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard said, according to The Washington Examiner. “These comments that are being made by Speaker Vos, frankly, are threats to the will of the people and to democracy in Wisconsin.”

“Scholars have been studying the district lines in Wisconsin as well as in other states, and it is clear that gerrymandering has a negative effect on democracy,” Agard said. “[That’s] simply referring to … what are known facts and indicating a problem here in the state of Wisconsin that needs to be addressed.”

All told, however, Protasiewicz does run the very real risk of being impeached. Republicans hold a majority in the state House and a supermajority in the state Senate. If she were removed and convicted, however, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers would appoint her replacement, and it’s likely to be someone just as liberal.

“The showdown over Protasiewicz comes as President Joe Biden heads to Wisconsin on Tuesday to tout his economic policies. Wisconsin is a critical state for the president and his reelection bid. His visit and tour come one week before Republicans head to Milwaukee for the GOP’s first presidential primary debate,” the Examiner added.

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