Report: Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Attacked Fellow Justice

A rather odd report out of Wisconsin:

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 to 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.

Bradley also declined to comment, telling WPR, “I have nothing to say.”

The sources say Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs was notified of the incident. One source says Tubbs came in to meet with the entire Supreme Court about this matter. Tubbs, contacted by Wisconsin Public Radio, declined to comment.

Sources also say the matter was called to the attention of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which investigates allegations of misconduct involving judges. James Alexander, executive director of the commission, said Friday that “we can neither confirm nor deny” that the incident was under investigation. “The commission hasn’t given me any authority to make any confirmation.”

Amanda Todd, spokesperson for the court, sent an email to the full court on Friday afternoon informing them of the Center’s media inquiries on the matter. Reporters also contacted each justice individually. As of the end of day Friday, none of the justices had commented.

The Journal Sentinel reached out to all of the justices Saturday. Neither Bradley nor Prosser returned calls, and the other five justices either didn’t return calls or declined to comment.

Given that Wisconsin remains a political spark point, I doubt this is the last we’ll hear about this. What the truth might be is, of course, a different question.

Note: The original version of this post incorrectly identified Prosser as Chief Justice

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Yeah, we will keep hearing about from lefties who love to push nonsense against consrvatives.
    A non story for non thininkers.

  2. allheavens says:

    So Miicheal,

    A male WI Supreme Court Justice physically attacks another Justice, a female, but it is a non story because?

    What would he have to do? Shoot her in front of a television crew and then drag the body into the streets? Would that then satisfy your criteria?

  3. Ben Wolf says:

    Yes Michael, grabbing someone by the throat is a non-story, at least when it happens to a woman. I’m sure she was asking for it by not wearing a scarf.

  4. @MIchael,

    If this story is true then it’s assault, possibly aggravated assault depending on Wisconsin law. Hardly appropriate behavior for a judge

  5. PJ says:

    It’s all Bradley’s fault, like when two judges, including Bradley, made Prosser call one of them a b*tch. It’s some sort of mind control. Most likely satanic.

  6. narciso says:

    Well with sources like this:

    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.

    Let’s just hang him now, spare the expense of a trial,

  7. ken says:

    It was well known that Posner was a dangerous loony with a temper he could not control when the Republicans supported him for election.

    I really do not understand the Republican mind set. Perhaps they are all a bit nuts? I don’t think you’d find normal people, like for example liberals, supporting anyone like this just for the sake of winning an election. Maybe it is because the Republican would have been more successful in making it an issue with a liberal, so liberals would see that the guy is nuts and not support him. But that doesn’t excuse Republican behavior when they support a nut case just because he agrees with them.

  8. I don’t think you’d find normal people, like for example liberals, supporting anyone like this just for the sake of winning an election.

    *cough*Bob Etheridge*cough*

  9. Lgbpop says:

    I love the bit about unnamed sources. Really credible.

  10. William Teach says:

    Well, lgbpop, it’s credible enough for Liberals Outside the Beltway.

    Of course, were it a liberal judge accused by 3 named sources, I’m sure they would be given the benefit of the doubt.

  11. William,

    You did notice I titled the blog post “Report……” and used the phrase “If this is true….” right?

  12. PJ says:

    Justice Prosser, contacted Friday afternoon by the Center, declined to comment: “I have nothing to say about it.”

    A great way to debunk a false rumor. He should talk to Weiner about damage control.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    No one is saying the guy is guilty, or even that there’s anything to charge him with. But at the point where the entire court sat down and talked to cops, there’s more than enough to look into.

  14. ponce says:

    Why do the craziest Republicans tend to end up on the bench?

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    at this point, all I can say is, “Something happened….” Exactly what??? I doubt any of us will ever know. As of this point in time I see no need to throw Prosser under the bus for whatever happened in this particular instance. But only because he is a right wing idealougue (sp?) who has committed many other crimes against humanity which are emminently more provable.

    (and for the record, my rightward leaning wingnut nutjobs) SARCASM!!!

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ps: Doug (and James) I like the color code for the original authors replies. Sometimes I just want to skip all the BS and engage the author. That helps.

  17. narciso says:

    It’s a dubious story, with no named source, with Think Regress already pondering removal,
    why would this be suspicious.

  18. Rick Shreiner says:

    Lgbpop, the unnamed sources were quite likely eyewitnesses present at the time of the ALLEDGED attack, not just random sources citing rumors.
    This can be gleaned from this and other reports where it states that there were discussions going on, IN PRIVATE, between justices about the case at hand.
    Not just those involved in the incident, but witnesses as well.
    If they choose, at this point, to remain nameless for the sake of maintaining professional relationships, I think this is quite understandable.

  19. Ben Wolf says:

    @Doug

    There’s very little Teach does notice, particularly when they happen to be facts getting in the way of his preferred narrative.

  20. Hey Norm says:

    Wimp…Cheney would have shot her in the face.

  21. narciso says:

    Actually, new details is that Bradley may have attacked Prosser, kind of counterintuitive, no wonder she didn’t want to comment; re Althouse.

  22. newrouter says:

    “Doug Mataconis suxs cat dick unnamed sources say”. prove them wrong mr. attorney.

  23. narciso says:

    http;//althouse blogspot.com/an-alternate-account-of-prosser-Bradley.html

  24. newrouter says:

    outside the beltway thinks like the msm

  25. Moderate Mom says:

    Updated reports from the Journal Sentinel from more “unnamed sources” say that Bradley flew at Prosser with fists raised and he put his hands up to block her, touching her neck. When the claimed that she had been choked, another Justice told her that she had not.

    Tempers are running high, and, given the venom leaking out of Abramson’s pen in her minority dissent in the Union case, the liberal Justices seem to be really pissed that they lost.

    So far, it seems like both Prosser and Bradley do not have the necessary temperment to sit on the State’s highest Court. For that matter, Abramson doesn’t seem to have it either. Perhaps it would be best for the Court for all three to tender their resignations. Of course, that would leave Scott Walker appointing their replacements, so that isn’t going to happen.

  26. John Burgess says:

    @Moderate Mom: One can dream…

  27. Mike says:

    Hey, WISCONSIN , you got what you voted for

  28. Ben Wolf says:

    Lest we forget, this is the same Prosser who admitted calling another justice a “bitch” and threatened to “destroy” her. I’m not aware of Bradley having a rage record, so forgive me if I find her story slightly more believable.

  29. G.A.Phillips says:

    So far, it seems like both Prosser and Bradley do not have the necessary temperament to sit on the State’s highest Court. For that matter, Abramson doesn’t seem to have it either. Perhaps it would be best for the Court for all three to tender their resignations.

    And the 14 crybaby runaways, them too? Little kids should not be passing laws or be wearing black robes…..