Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser seems to have trouble controlling his considerable temper, and liberal female Justices on the Court appear to be his targets.
Todd Richmond of the Associated Press reports (link here):
Liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley has accused conservative Justice David Prosser of trying to choke her during an argument in her state Capitol office on June 13, the day before the court handed down a decision upholding a new law that eliminates most public employees’ collective bargaining rights. Prosser has denied the allegations.
Richmond further reports that the local county sheriff and the state’s judicial oversight commission have commenced investigations.
Other news reports coming out of Wisconsin indicate that Justice Bradley recommended to her judicial colleague that he seek anger management counseling.
Emerging track record
Earlier this year, I wrote about incivility on the Wisconsin high court, including a previous incident involving Justice Prosser:
The justices have been engaging in an ugly and now public feud, with one member of the court – Justice David Prosser — calling ”Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a ‘bitch’ behind closed doors and threaten[ing] to ‘destroy her’ more than a year ago when the court split over removing fellow Justice Michael Gableman from a criminal case as he faced an ethics allegation,” as reported here by Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Soon after this incident was reported, Prosser barely held onto his seat on the Supreme Court, narrowly winning re-election over a little-known liberal female challenger.
The A.P.’s Richmond adds that “questions about Prosser’s temper date back to his days as a Republican legislator.”
I can see clearly now
When I was interviewed in March about the situation by the Wisconsin Law Journal (link here), I played it close to the vest, taking care not to jump to conclusions because it seemed premature to do so.
But now the picture has become much clearer. Barring the unlikely possibility that his colleagues on the bench are lying, Justice Prosser’s bullying has gone from offensively and aggressively verbal to physically assaultive. His inability to control his temper is threatening the work of the state’s highest court and making it something of a legal soap opera on a national stage.
The legal profession has enough problems with Type A folks who cannot control their aggressive natures. Do we really need a state supreme court justice serving as a reverse role model for the worst of these behaviors?