By Karen Stokes
Democratic Senate Leader Melissa Agard and Assembly Assistant Democratic Leader Kalan Haywood participated in a Defend Justice Town Hall meeting in Wauwatosa on Wednesday, engaging with voters from Wisconsin’s 5th Senate District to address Robin Vos’ unconstitutional threat of impeaching Justice Janet Protasiewicz.
The standing room only event, held at Ally’s Powerhouse in Wauwatosa, drew a concerned crowd that showed strong support for the recently elected Justice Protasiewicz.
“We invited Republican Senator Hutton here, this is his district, so he can talk to us about why he and his party are working to impeach Justice Protasiewicz, but guess what, we have an empty chair,” Agard said.
Wisconsin voters elected Protasiewicz with a decisive 11-point margin on April 4, marking a democratic shift with a liberal majority, a first in 15 years. Wisconsin’s Republican leaders, including state assembly Speaker Robin Vos, are now considering her impeachment. They have cited alleged improper comments made during her campaign about map propriety and donations from the Democratic Party as grounds for this move, even before she has presided over any cases. This raises the possibility of a new election next Spring and could potentially reverse recent changes.
“When republicans don’t get their way, they want to change the rules,” Haywood said.
Furthermore, Protasiewicz never said how she would rule on a redistricting lawsuit.
“We know that just one member of the Republican Caucus and the senate saying I don’t want to stand for this will prevent an impeachment process from moving forward,” said Agard. “Just one Republican to stand up and we can put this to bed and we can start talking about the issues that matter most to the people of Wisconsin.”
The attendees at the Town Hall were mostly interested in how they could get involved, how they could put an end to the impeachment considerations.
“Our call to action to you all today is to make sure you’re reaching out to all your friends and family across the state of Wisconsin and ask them where they stand,” said Agard.
Attendees were encouraged to go to the legislative website, and contact their legislator either by phone during business hours or email and ask where they stand.
A fired up resident suggested showing up to Madison and staying in the capital until things changed.
“Why aren’t we canvassing, why aren’t we out in the streets, what is gonna wake people up?” Another resident asked. “This is just an assault on democracy on every level.”
“It’s an all hands on deck approach, it’s all approaches: letters, emails, phone calls, marches, knocking on doors, talking to people,” said Milwaukee County District 7 Supervisor, Felesia Martin.
“It is a team effort,” said Haywood.
There are simple things everyday people can do to make a difference.
For more information text “JUSTICE” to 74404 or visit: DefendJustice.com.