The Georgia Supreme Court last week took away — at least for now — Republican lawmakers a key tool they could have used to take action against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
And local Republicans are still dealing with the pain of defeat.
The court voted last Wednesday against approving rules for the District Attorney's Qualifications Commission, a panel dubiously created in May as Willis considered charges against Trump over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. In the last year, conservatives across the country have taken steps to remove Democratic prosecutors from their posts if they do not conform to conservative orthodoxy. And Georgia Senate Bill 92, which created the commission, was ostensibly aimed at “targeting rogue or incompetent prosecutors who refuse to follow the law,” according to the state’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp .
But Republicans in Georgia made no secret of their desire to use the commission to target Willis following her indictment of Trump. The Supreme Court's ruling caused a stir on Wednesday.
In their decision, the justices questioned whether it was within the court's jurisdiction to approve rules that would govern the panel.
That means the commission cannot act unless the law is rewritten to remove the requirement that the state Supreme Court approve the commission's rules. And one Republican lawmaker — Rep. Houston Gaines — told The Associated Press he believes the change could come in early January. But the news appears to have angered state Sen. Colton Moore, who wanted to impeach Willis and called other Republican lawmakers “buzzard cowards” for refusing to go along with his plan.
Since the state Supreme Court's decision, Moore has gone on a retweeting spree, sharing posts from people who said the ruling proves he was right to question his fellow lawmakers' MAGA bona fides.
Meanwhile, four Georgia prosecutors are challenging the law in Fulton County Superior Court. In the short term, your allies have reason to celebrate. This includes Sherry Boston, one of the prosecutors who want to repeal the law.
“We are pleased that the justices have taken action to stop this unconstitutional attack on the state’s prosecutors,” Boston said in a statement following the state Supreme Court’s decision last week.
While we celebrate this as a victory, we remain steadfast in our resolve to fight future attempts to undermine the will of Georgia voters and the independence of the prosecutors they elect to represent them.
That sounds like foreshadowing given Republicans' seemingly endless crusade against Willis and prosecutors like her who refuse to give in to far-right demands.
For more background on this fight, see this ReidOut blog about the prosecutors' lawsuit. And watch Rachel Maddow discuss the Georgia Supreme Court ruling on her show Monday.