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Wisconsin Weekly is a roundup of the week’s top headlines from around the state by Wisconsin Watch and other trusted news outlets.

  • Republicans press new justice to recuse from redistricting case
  • Moms for Liberty is growing in Wisconsin and looking to shift the education landscape
  • Staffing shortages at Waupun prison lead to long lockdowns and deplorable conditions
  • How the pandemic and preschool expulsions are sapping teacher mental health

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing. 

Supreme Court

Judge Janet Protasiewicz declares victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 4, 2023, in Milwaukee. Her election night party was held at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin Republicans ask newly elected liberal justice not to hear redistricting case

The Associated Press — Aug. 23, 2023

Republicans say Justice Janet Protasiewicz should recuse herself from challenges to the state’s Republican gerrymandered legislative districts because she called the maps “rigged” during the April election. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said if she doesn’t recuse he would pursue impeachment.

Read more: Wisconsin Watch previously reported that a violation of judicial ethics is not an impeachable offense in Wisconsin. The Legislature can remove a justice who commits an ethics violation through the address process, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Assembly, rather than a simple majority.

The Wisconsin State Capitol building is photographed on April 12, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin Republicans grill judicial commissioners with a focus on high court’s new liberal majority

The Associated Press — Aug. 23, 2023

The commission that handles judicial ethics complaints could play an important role in determining whether Protasiewicz committed an ethical violation by calling legislative maps “rigged” and expressing her support for abortion rights during the campaign.


Scarlett Johnson, chair of Ozaukee Moms for Liberty, left, is seen with vice chair Amber Schroeder near the Frank L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon, Wis., on Aug. 13, 2023. Two summers ago, they collected signatures in front of the library and raised nearly $50,000 as part of an unsuccessful school board recall effort related to COVID safety measures. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Moms for Liberty is growing in Wisconsin as critics call them extremists

Wisconsin Watch — Aug. 23, 2023

A group known for bringing conservative culture war grievances to local school boards has expanded to 11 counties in Wisconsin. Members told Wisconsin Watch’s Rachel Hale why their movement is growing, which books they want to ban from Wisconsin school libraries and how they plan to influence the 2025 state superintendent race.

In competing events, Trump and his 8 challengers offer split-screen view of GOP’s future

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Aug. 24, 2023

Milwaukee hosted the first Republican presidential debate of 2024 with eight candidates. Frontrunner Donald Trump didn’t participate.

More: Photos from the debate by Wisconsin Watch photographer Drake White-Bergey.


Inside Waupun Correctional Institution’s ‘nightmare’ lockdown

The New York Times/Wisconsin Watch — Aug. 19, 2023

Wisconsin Watch’s Mario Koran, participating in a New York Times fellowship program this year, reports on deplorable conditions at a Wisconsin prison likely caused by staffing shortages. The governor and Legislature in the latest state budget agreed to significant raises for prison guards.


Teachers’ mental health is linked to preschool expulsions. Here’s why.

Appleton Post Crescent/Green Bay Press Gazette — Aug. 22, 2023

The pandemic resulted in more preschool-aged children behaving like 2-year-olds, which is particularly concerning when studies have found preschool expulsions are five times more likely than K-12 expulsions. All that adds up to more stress for teachers who are expected to educate more children who aren’t ready for school.

Read more: Wisconsin preschoolers are 5 times more likely to be expelled than K-12 students. Here’s why.


Trust us? Wisconsin AG refuses to release list of all law enforcement officers in state, dismaying experts

The Badger Project — Aug. 15, 2023

The Wisconsin Department of Justice won’t release names of current law enforcement in Wisconsin, citing family safety and undercover agent protection. They do release the names of officers who have been decertified, disciplined or quit during an investigation.

Ahead of the first presidential debate in Milwaukee, does Donald Trump lead his rivals by more than 50 points? (NO)
Is the average salary for teachers in the Milwaukee School District $69,000? (YES)
Do billionaires pay an 8% federal income tax rate? (NO)

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