In the Courts

‘A Political Hit Job’: Fired Wisconsin Court Director Files Complaints Against Liberal Justices

Randy Koschnick, the recently-fired director of Wisconsin’s state court system, filed five complaints on Tuesday with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission against his replacement and the state’s four liberal Supreme Court justices, The Associated Press reported.

In his complaints, Koschnick argued that his replacement, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Audrey Skwierawski, could not legally assume the directorial position, according to the AP. Koschinck was fired after the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently flipped to liberal control for the first time in 15 years when liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz replaced Justice Pat Roggensack, a retiring conservative member on the court.

“I’m not trying to get my job back. They had the legal authority to fire me, they didn’t do it the right way, but I’m not getting my job back,” Koschnick told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I’m really concerned about the court system and the constitution being followed.”

Wisconsin’s constitution prohibits justices from working in a nonjudicial role until their term ends, according to the AP. Koschnick alleged that Skwierawski could not become director until 2025 because of this constitutional restriction.

Skwierawski took a leave of absence from her judicial position when she replaced Koschnick at the beginning of August, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Skwierawski said Wednesday that she and several legal experts examined the law thoroughly before she accepted the directing role, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Madison attorney Lester Pines and former Dane County Circuit Court Judge Rick Niess also argued that the state court system director counted as a judicial role because it falls under the judicial branch.

“The director of state courts is quintessentially a position that is concerned with the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice,” Niess said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s bizarre to view this as anything but a political hit job.”

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