Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Justice Prosser unfit for the State Supreme Court

If you called your boss a bad word and threatened them professionally, how much longer would you expect to keep your job? Justice David Prosser, who is seeking re-election to the State Supreme Court, is hoping you’d overlook such an indiscretion.

He admitted recently that emails and other justices’ testimonials were accurate in their portrayal of an incident where he had exercised terrible judgment. Prosser had called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a “bitch” and threatened to “destroy” her.

But according to Prosser, it’s totally justifiable. You see, he was GOADED into calling Abrahamson a “bitch,” and threatened her because SHE made him do it.

“I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted,” Prosser said. He also made no mention of an apology to the Chief Justice, in public or private.

To be fair, the incident isn’t indicative of Prosser’s judicial expertise (though there is reason for concern there as well); but it does draw up some important questions about his character. If Prosser is unable to work well with others, how are we to expect him to serve in a branch of government that requires him to come to a consensus with his colleagues? Can we expect him to draw judicial conclusions on the merits of the case, or are they going to be influenced by his personal relationships with his judicial equals?

What’s more, Prosser places the blame entirely on Abrahamson. Such an admission isn’t just inexcusable, but in some ways might be signs of abusive behavior. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for abusers to say to their victims that it’s their fault, that they didn’t want to hit them or yell at them, but because of their behavior, they had no other choice.

Prosser’s behavior is certainly anything but productive, similar in ways to that of an adolescent unable to understand the world around them. If he’s unable to behave in a way that’s expected of the office he holds, much less to take responsibility for his actions, then he isn’t fit to be a Supreme Court justice. Vote Kloppenburg on April 5.

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