Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Bradley Says Justice Prosser Choked Her

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the first public statement by either of the participants in the bizarre incident I wrote about over the weekend:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley issued a statement late Saturday saying that fellow Justice David Prosser choked her and disputing claims that she attacked him first.

“The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold,” she said. “Those are the facts and you can try to spin those facts and try to make it sound like I ran up to him and threw my neck into his hands, but that’s only spin.


“I’m confident the appropriate authorities will conduct a thorough investigation of this incident involving abusive behavior in the workplace.”

Like I said, bizarre. Prosser hasn’t commented yet, and it may not be wise for him to do so given the implications of a charge like this.

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.


  1. Ben Wolf says:

    He just won his job again; what’s Prosser so angry about?

  2. Upset Old Guy says:

    Charges? What charges, Doug? I haven’t read anything about Bradley contacting the police and pressing charges against Prosser. Can you provide a link to the news story?

  3. Ben Wolf says:


    The link is in the first sentence, where it states Bradley went to the capitol police. Try being a little less upset and a little more inquisitive.

  4. Hey Norm says:

    Really Upset Old Guy…You can’t u derstand the difference between Justice Walsh charging that Justice Prosser choked her and officials charging Prosser with a crime? If Yo stop and think and try to fully comprehend maybe you won’t be so Upset Old Guy. Who knows what else you are upset about that you don’t fully understand.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    I assume this kind of thing happens all the time in most courts. Perfectly normal. I know Scalia used to choke Sandra Day O’Connor all the time. What’s a little aggravated assault?

  6. Dodd says:

    Prosser has commented. He denies the story — with the apparent backing of one or two witnesses:

    As the activist press was running with the story, new evidence emerged in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report to suggest the matter was more complicated than originally reported. Whatever happened, happened during a meeting of six of the court’s seven justices; in other words, there were several witnesses. One witness supported the original accusation. But another witness said that during a heated conversation, Bradley “charged [Prosser] with fists raised” and that Prosser had put out his own hands defensively. According to one of the paper’s sources, Bradley then accused Prosser of choking her, to which another justice reportedly replied, “You were not choked.”

    It turns out the Center for Investigative Journalism report was right to the extent that it said details were “sketchy.” The details turn out to be so sketchy that it is impossible to determine, at least at this point, whether the original story is accurate or not. In a statement, Prosser told the Journal Sentinel that, “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.”

  7. Hey Norm says:

    @ Reynolds…
    And Clarence Thomas is well known for choking his…well…never mind…

  8. legion says:

    This whole thing is weird on both sides. It supposedly occurred in chambers, during deliberation. so there ought to numerous witnesses – namely the entire rest of the court! Now, Bradley’s made a public statement about a physical assault on her person – can one of you legal types explain why there hasn’t been an arrest of Prosser yet? Aren’t certain criminal prosecutions carried through even without a formal charge being filed by an alleged victim? I’d think something like ‘assaulting a supreme court justice’ would be handled a little more proactively by the police, even when the accused is another justice…

  9. ken says:

    And Clarence Thomas is well known for choking his…well…never mind…

    Porn king of the court.

  10. Upset Old Guy says:

    The word “charges” does not have the same meaning as “allegations” in the legal context. The writer chose to use the word “charge” at the end of this piece but I have found no news item anywhere asserting that charges have been brought against Prosser by the police. In fact, the police have no comment when asked about the matter, whereas if Bradley has filed a complaint they are at least be in a position to acknowledge that much.

    If any of you have a link you can post to an actual news story that states that a formal complaint has been filed by Bradley with the police, or that charges have been brought by the police against Prosser please post them. Otherwise just amuse yourselves some more over my screen name.

  11. hey norm says:

    From Merriam-Webster:
    6 b : a statement of complaint or hostile criticism
    I charged lunch today. I hope that doesn’t get Upset Old Guys adult diapers in a twist.

  12. mantis says:

    This will be very depressing if witness accounts of the incident are split on partisan lines, assuming the rest of the justices witnessed it.

  13. legion says:

    Anyone familiar with the WI process for replacing SC justices? Because it’s becoming pretty apparent that at least one of these two people ain’t gonna be on the bench much longer…

  14. sam says:
  15. Tim says:

    I hope they have video surveillance. I have a difficult time believing anything that comes out of Madison nowadays. We need proof or one side will lie like hell. Don’t talk to Walker, because he doesn’t even know what the truth means. That dates all the way back to his days at Marquette. Look what that non-college grad has done to the spirit of our state in just a half year. Whether you support him or hate him, you cannot say that he hasn’t divided our state like no other time in our history. THAT IS NOT A LEADER! Sure some like him, because he is putting more money into the pockets of those who support him.

    Things need to change soon, or we will have an ugly future ahead!

  16. mattb says:

    Ok.. in completely bad taste, everytime I hear this story all I can think about is the Wayne Brady episode of “The Dave Chappelle Show” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pEQbZCRoJM) and the famous question:

    “Is Justice Prosser gonna’ have to choke a bitch?”

  17. G.A.Phillips says:
  18. Anderson says:

    Anon sources are okay with G.A. Phillips, so long as they’re quoted at NRO.

    I continue to have no idea what really happened. But clearly, WI needs to move to a 7 or 9 member court, so that there will be a majority to testify to some version of what happens during their en banc fisticuffs.

  19. Elaine Simon says:


    If one goes the other should too. Then Walker can appoint tw0 new Justices