Georgia Supreme Court Blocks Republican Attempt To Remove Fani Willis
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that they would not review rules establishing a commission allowing legislators to remove or discipline elected prosecutors.
The Georgia Supreme Court recently blocked what has been described as a blatant attempt by the state’s Republican Party to remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. On Nov. 22, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that they would not review rules establishing a commission allowing legislators to remove or discipline elected prosecutors. Effectively, the proposal from Georgia’s Republicans was killed with the court’s refusal to review it, meaning, for now, Willis is safe from the political machinations of the right.
According to The Intercept, Josh Rosenthal, the legal director of the Public Rights Project, was happy with the court’s decision, saying, “We are grateful that as a result of this decision, district attorneys throughout Georgia are not subject to removal for deciding how to best promote safety and justice.”
Rosenthal added, “The Georgia Supreme Court’s decision leaves the PAQC” (Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission) “without authority to act on any complaint. Without approved rules, the Commission cannot lawfully investigate or discipline prosecutors across the state. This is an important victory for communities’ ability to choose their vision for safety and justice and a district attorney that will reflect those views.”
Even some conservative district attorneys were nervous about the push from the state’s Republicans, as Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams supported the litigation led by Rosenthal, writing in support of his complaint, “I have already received threats that members of the public plan to file superfluous, unsubstantial complaints against me under SB92. This comes after I have received death threats and had my home address disseminated online.”
Furthermore, the Georgia Supreme Court expressed severe doubts that it was constitutionally sound for it to allow the commission’s recommendation, writing in its court order, “Because we are under no legal directive to take action, the most prudent course for us is to decline to take action without conclusively deciding any constitutional question.”
According to MSNBC, Sherry Boston, another of the prosecutors challenging the GOP’s push to rein in “reformist” district attorneys, sees the court’s choice as a brief respite, releasing a statement after the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We are pleased the justices have taken action to stop this unconstitutional attack on the state’s prosecutors,” Boston wrote. “While we celebrate this as a victory, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight any future attempts to undermine the will of Georgia voters and the independence of the prosecutors who they choose to represent them.”