Legal Insurrection has taken a look at the case file generated after WI Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused Chief Justice David Prosser of putting her in a chokehold. He was cleared, and is innocent of the charge, but that hasn’t stopped Bradley’s public relations campaign against him. The case file makes it abundantly clear that he never did anything more than raise his hands to defend himself when Walsh ran up toward him and shook her fist within an inch of his face more than once. So yes, TPM Muckraker readers, Prosser was the victim, both of an attempt to intimidate him and of an attempt to smear him.
Bradley then used the incident to engage in some progressive re-education, in the name of “workplace abuse” and to highlight “violence against women.”
Soon after the incident Bradley called the Capitol Police to demand a meeting about workplace safety, and then gave a planned presentation to the other Justices at a conference two days later using the following script (the full script is printed in the companion post):
I have brought this to the attention to all of you as my colleagues to see if we can deal with this internally.
In some ways this is simple. It is about workplace safety.
I have the right to go to my workplace without fear of verbal abuse or physical abuse.
Dave, at times you are a wonderful person. But there is another side. I have seen Dave engage in verbal abuse, threats and two days ago in anger he put his hands around my neck in a choke hold.
I have the right as a state employee to enter my workplace without any fear of verbal or physical abuse
Bradley’s script also emphasized violence against women:
Monday night [my husband] said to me, if one of our daughters called and said a co-worker had just in anger put his hands around her neck in a choke hold) that I would be on her to do everything possible that it did not happen again … And he is right.
He said, I cannot care for myself any less in response than I would care for my daughters.
The cynicism and rank dishonesty on display here are remarkable. even for a “progressive” political figure. Bradley’s actions are obviously now part of a campaign that she intended to use to discredit and perhaps even remove Prosser from the court; when the incident occurred he had just been re-elected and was expected to cast a decisive vote on the state’s new government union worker benefit reforms. Her actions are an insult to everyone who has ever faced real workplace safety issues. They are also an insult to women who have faced genuine violence at home or in the workplace. They’re also an insult to the voters who had re-elected Prosser, since she intended to overturn that vote by destroying his reputation.
Is there a provision for removing a justice from the court for waging such a campaign against a colleague? There ought to be. Bradley has discredited herself and it’s evident that she is unfit to serve. Human Events says she should resign. She should, and there should be disciplinary action taken against her by the Wisconsin Bar.