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Georgia Supreme Court Halts Panel To Discipline Prosecutors

Georgia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to approve rules for a new commission to discipline and remove state prosecutors, meaning the commission can’t begin operating. Some Republicans in Georgia want the new commission to discipline or remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for winning indictments of former President Trump and18 others, the Associated Press reports., Justices said they have “grave doubts” about their ability to regulate the duties of district attorneys beyond the practice of law. They said that because lawmakers hadn’t expressly ordered justices to act, they were refusing to rule one way or the other. “If district attorneys exercise judicial power, our regulation of the exercise of that power may well be within our inherent power as the head of the Judicial Branch,” justices wrote. “But if district attorneys exercise only executive power, our regulation of the exercise of that power would likely be beyond the scope of our judicial power.”


State Rep. Houston Gaines, a Republican who helped guide the law through the House this year, said he believed lawmakers could remove the requirement for the court to approve the rules, letting the commission n operate. “This commission has been years in the making — and now it has its appointees and rules and regulations ready to go,” Gaines wrote. “As soon as the legislature can address this final issue from the court, rogue prosecutors will be held accountable.” Georgia’s law is one of multiple attempts nationwide by Republicans to control prosecutors they don’t like. Republicans have inveighed against progressive prosecutors after some have brought fewer drug possession cases and sought shorter prison sentences, arguing Democrats are coddling criminals. Beyond the hurdle of Supreme Court approval of rules, four district attorneys are suing to overturn the commission, arguing that it unconstitutionally infringes on their power.

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