Friday, March 16, 2012

Wisconsin Judicial Commission files complaint against Justice Prosser

Embattled justice continues to face problems due to behavior issues

The Wisconsin Judicial Commission has rendered a decision regarding Justice David Prosser's conduct on the State Supreme Court last year, during which the conservative justice wrapped his hands around a fellow female justice's neck and called another female justice (and head of the Court) a "total bitch."

The Commission has submitted an official complaint to the Supreme Court, which will decide how to further proceed.

Here are some excerpts from the actual complaint (PDF):
"The Commission has found probable cause to believe that Justice Prosser willfully violated SCR 60.04(1)(o), Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct. This provision states that a judge must cooperate with other judges of a common judicial system to promote the satisfactory administration of justice."

"The Commission has found probable cause to believe that Justice Prosser willfully violated SCR 60.02, Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct. This provision, in relevant part, states that an independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining and enforcing high standards of conduct and shall personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary will be preserved."

"By his conduct, words and behavior, Justice Prosser willfully...engaged in judicial misconduct pursuant to Wis. Stat. 757.81(4)(a)."
Emphases added.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Prosser has consistently defended his actions, egregious as they may be. On the matter of calling Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "total bitch," Prosser has gone on record saying, "I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted." And on the count of the altercation between him and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Prosser again defends himself, claiming that he was merely putting his hands up while the female justice was charging him.

How one determines that a shaking of the fist means you should put your hands around someone's neck is up for debate (though most would come to the reasonable conclusion that it's unjustifiable). Clearly, Prosser made a mistake in his actions but is unwilling to account for them. Furthermore, his excuses border on sexist, reminiscent of the "old days" when it was typical for men to blame the abuse they carried out on their own victims (e.g. "she MADE me do it!").

David Prosser is unfit for the Supreme Court. It's not his ideology that is at issue, nor his lackadaisical judicial opinions, but rather the way he conducts himself in his official capacity within the state's highest judicial authority...especially, it seems, around women.

1 comment:

  1. What we have here is a case in which one Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice (Bradley) “charged” another Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice (Prosser) during a disagreement (she literally ran at him with hand/fist raised).

    From the Dane County Sheriff’s Report on this incident:
    • All witnesses, including the accuser, Bradley, agree that Bradley approached Prosser with a hand raised.
    • 3 witnesses say that Prosser simply blocked Bradley as she flew at him; only one witness (sort of) supports Bradley.

    The Dane County Sheriff's Report is consistent with Prosser's innocence.
    Details at