December 3rd 2023.
The Georgia Supreme Court has recently blocked an attempt by the state’s Republican Party to remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The court ruled that they would not review rules establishing a commission allowing the legislature to remove or discipline elected prosecutors. This effectively killed the proposal and saved Willis from the right's political machinations.
Josh Rosenthal, the legal director of the Public Rights Project, was pleased with the court’s decision. He said, “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.” He added, “The Georgia Supreme Court’s decision leaves the PAQC 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 Republican push. Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams backed the complaint led by Rosenthal, writing in support of it. He stated that he had already received threats from the public, and even death threats, due to the legislation.
The Georgia Supreme Court also had doubts about the constitutionality of the commission’s recommendation. They wrote in their court order that the “most prudent course for us is to decline to take action without conclusively deciding any constitutional question.”
Sherry Boston, another prosecutor who challenged the GOP’s push to rein in “reformist” district attorneys, released a statement after the Supreme Court’s decision. She said, “We are pleased the justices have taken action to stop this unconstitutional attack on the state’s prosecutors. 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.”
The Georgia Supreme Court’s decision is a great victory for D.A. Fani Willis and those who wish to keep her in office. It is also a victory for the people of Georgia, who can now elect prosecutors of their choice and ensure that their visions of safety and justice are respected.
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