Fired Wisconsin courts director files complaints against liberal Supreme Court justices

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The former director of Wisconsin’s court system who was fired by liberal state Supreme Court justices the day after they gained control of the panel has filed complaints against his replacement and the justices who voted to oust him.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday that Randy Koschnick, who was appointed to the role in 2017 by a conservative majority, filed five complaints Tuesday with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, an independent agency that enforces a code of conduct for judges and court commissioners.

In the complaints, Koschnick alleged that the Milwaukee County judge appointed to replace him cannot legally take office until July 2025, because the state constitution prohibits judges from holding nonjudicial offices until their terms end.

“I think it’s a real threat to the system, long-term, to have justices not following the constitution and apparently not being concerned about it,” Koschnick told the newspaper.

His five complaints were filed against Justices Ann Walsh Bradley, Rebecca Dallet, Jill Karofsky and Janet Protasiewicz, as well as Audrey Skwierawski, who was named interim director of the state court system. The director of state courts is Wisconsin’s top nonjudicial court official and advises the Supreme Court on improving court processes while also overseeing court budgets and operations.

In a statement Wednesday, Skwierawski said she carefully reviewed the law and worked with legal experts to ensure she was eligible to serve in the role.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court flipped to liberal control earlier this month for the first time in 15 years. The previous conservative majority regularly issued opinions in favor of conservatives on major political and policy battles. The new liberal majority immediately set to work making sweeping changes, including voting to vastly reduce the powers of the conservative chief justice.