Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Prosser, the man who called the Chief Justice a “bitch” while threatening to destroy her and went on to be re-elected after a dubious election of “found votes”, has allegedly choked his colleague Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during discussions surrounding the union-busting bill last week.
Justice Prosser, who ran his re-election campaign as “complement” to Walker, was also a former Republican legislator and Assembly Speaker. Last week, before announcing their 4-3 decision that overturned county Judge Sumi’s void on the collective bargaining law that was passed in clear and documented violation of Open Meeting Laws, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson let her written dissent speak to the partisan nature of the hasty court ruling, which took place just eight days after hearing oral arguments.
Abrahamson is, of course, the “bitch” Prosser said he would “destroy”. Prosser justified his actions by accusing the two female justices, Abrahamson and Bradley, of being “manipulative.” During debate centering on the overturning of Judge Sumi’s void last week, Bradley asked Prosser to leave her office. He responded by putting his hands around her neck.
If being manipulative is justification for choking, one has to wonder why no one has yet assaulted Justice Prosser or his “complements”. Maybe because in a civilized society, we don’t put our hands around the necks of ideological opponents.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week, according to at least three knowledgeable sources.
Details of the incident, investigated jointly by Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, remain sketchy. The sources spoke on the condition that they not be named, citing a need to preserve professional relationships.
They say an argument that occurred before the court’s release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees culminated in a physical altercation in the presence of other justices. Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands.
Justice Prosser, contacted Friday afternoon by the Center, declined comment: “I have nothing to say about it.” He repeated this statement after the particulars of the story — including the allegation that there was physical contact between him and Bradley — were described. He did not confirm or deny any part of the reconstructed account.
This incident was reportedly turned over to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which cannot confirm or deny if they are investigating it.
This is not only horrifying in its physical abuse, but also because it was predictable. Prosser has been known to be a man bearing no respect for women and a man who freely embraces his erratic temperament. He has previously displayed a lack of interest in controlling himself while performing the duties of his job. There is no excuse for putting one’s hands around a colleague’s neck. There is no excuse for physically touching anyone during an argument, and this is, of course, against the law. We expect our justices to act in accordance with the law, even if their temperament is that of a spoiled, angry child who uses threats to intimidate people with whom he disagrees.
This is the man conservatives were crowing about getting re-elected, even after reports surfaced of his inability to control his temper around women. This is the man whose re-election only occurred after the GAB declined to investigate the logs of ballot bag abnormalities, failure to maintain secure chain of custody, open ballot bags and tags that didn’t match logs after 7,000 votes were found a day and half after the election results initially went for his challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg.
Once again, we have to ask conservatives if what they are doing is so right, why do they have to keep breaking laws to do it? And we need to ask ourselves, is this what democracy looks like?