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Georgia Supreme Court thwarts GOP's anti-Fani Willis weapon

Georgia Republicans have been scheming ways to target Fani Willis for prosecuting Donald Trump. The state's Supreme Court just added a new hurdle.


The Georgia Supreme Court last week stripped Republican legislators — at least for now — of a key tool they could have used to target Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

And local Republicans are still dealing with the sting of defeat. 

The court last Wednesday voted against approving rules for the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, a panel dubiously created in May while Willis was considering charges against Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Over the last year, conservatives nationwide have taken steps to pluck Democratic prosecutors from their posts if they don’t comply with conservative orthodoxy. And Georgia Senate Bill 92, which established the commission, was ostensibly meant to target “rogue or incompetent prosecutors who refuse to uphold the law,” according to the state's Republican governor, Brian Kemp

But Georgia Republicans didn’t hide the fact they wanted to use the commission to target Willis following her indictment of Trump.  Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling put a banana in their tailpipe.

In their decision, the judges questioned whether it was within the court's authority to approve rules that would govern the panel. 

That means the commission cannot operate unless the law is rewritten to remove the requirement that the state Supreme Court approve the commission’s rules. And one GOP lawmaker — state Rep. Houston Gaines — told The Associated Press he thinks that change could be made by early January. But the news seems to have miffed state Sen. Colton Moore, who has sought to impeach Willis and has referred to fellow Republican legislators as “buzzard cowards” for their refusal to go along with his scheme. 

Ever since the state Supreme Court decision, Moore has gone on a retweet spree, sharing posts from people who said the ruling proved he was right to question his fellow legislators’ MAGA bona fides.

Meanwhile, four Georgia prosecutors are challenging the law in Fulton County Superior Court. Their allies have reason to celebrate in the immediate term. That includes Sherry Boston, one of the prosecutors seeking to overturn the law.

“We are pleased 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.

She added:

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.

That sounds like foreshadowing given Republicans’ seemingly endless crusade against Willis and prosecutors like her, who refuse to acquiesce to far-right demands. 

For more background on this fight, you may want to read this ReidOut Blog on the prosecutors’ lawsuit. And check out Rachel Maddow below discussing the Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling on her show Monday.