26 June 2011

Badger State High Court Grudge Match

David Prosser 2nd from L, Ann Marie Walsh Bradley 3rd from L , Shirley Abrahamson C

Union politics in the Badger State have been quiet contentious as of late.   In February, mobs of union sponsored protesters had a prolonged standoff in the state capitol in Madison that caused $7.5 million in damages. In a feeble attempt to circumvent the proper political process, 14 liberal state Senators became fleebaggers to deny quorum to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) budget that reformed Wisconsin state union’s collective bargaining abilities about pension issues.  National activists dumped $3.5 million to contest the re-election of Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge David Prosser.  When the vote did not defeat Prosser, who could have been the deciding vote on legislation to nullify the state budget on procedural grounds, the left sought to do a costly state recount to win the contest for JoAnne Kloppenburg  in “overtime”.  Since the election was not close enough to for Democrats to steal, Prosser continued in his post and the Walker budget was passed.

Apparently, the situation has not cooled and politicos remain pugnacious.  Prior to ruling on the judicial roadblock to passage of the Walker Budget, there was a black robed melee. The initial reports from Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism were that  Supreme Court Associate Justice David Prosser held fellow Justice Ann Marie Walsh Bradley in an angry chokehold.  The brute!

In a written statement, Prosser did not categorically deny this violent incident against women in the workplace:

Once there's a proper review of the matter and the facts surrounding it are made clear, the anonymous claim made to the media will be proven false. Until then I will refrain from further public comment.

But as Oscar Wilde pithily put it “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”  The lamestream media reports left out a salient detail–Prosser was defending himself from Walsh Bradley charging him with fists a flying.

It seems that six justices met in Walsh Bradley’s office to discuss when to release ruling on the budget impasse.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court was tasked with an appellate decision on District Court Judge Sumi’s objection to the Walker Budget on the grounds of the open meeting requirement.  Wisconsin legislative leaders wanted an expedited ruling to complete their work on the state budget.  When Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson was non-committal about releasing the decision in June, Prosser vocalized that he had lost all confidence in Abrahamson’s leadership.

Justice Walsh Bradley reportedly did not take kindly to any attacks on Abrahamson’s leadership so Walsh Bradley went to throw Prosser out with her fists up.  It seems that Prosser went to defend himself by putting his hands up and was said to have brushed against Walsh Bradley.  Walsh Bradley alleged that she had been choked.  Another unnamed justice immediately disputed Walsh Bradley’s accusation. Still the matter was reported to the Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief and seemingly referred to Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which can neither confirm nor deny that the incident was brought to their attention. Despite filing the report and offering damning press availabilities over the alleged incident, it is unclear if Justice Bradley is seeking justice and pressing charges over this supposed battery in the workplace.

The Prosser hit piece seems strikingly like agitprop to achieve where the electoral, legislative and judicial processes failed, to force a majority liberal Wisconsin State Supreme Court, which acts as a roadblock to changes that adversely impact their union comrades. When all else fails, fall back on the politics of personal destruction.

Right now, the only beautiful thing associated with the Wisconsin Supreme Court is the artwork in the Supreme Court Chambers by Albert Herter (1871-1950). Herter's paintings, including the Signing of the American Constitution, is supposed to represent great moments in history which influenced the law in Wisconsin.  It seems unlikely this will be depicted on canvass even though the alleged incident might still be framed.

H/T:  Red State

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