March 20, 2011

Nasty email surfaces on the eve of the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
"In a fit of temper, you were screaming at the chief; calling her a 'bitch,' threatening her with '. . . I will destroy you'; and describing the means of destruction as a war against her 'and it won't be a ground war,'" [Justice Ann Walsh]Bradley wrote in a Feb. 18, 2010, e-mail to [incumbent Justice David] Prosser and others....

Three days later, Justice Patience Roggensack wrote to Bradley, criticizing her for copying judicial assistants on her e-mail.

"You were trying to make David look bad in the eyes of others, as a person who uses language that we all find offensive - and I include David in that 'we,' " Roggensack wrote. "Do you think that copying others on your e-mail increased the collegiality of the court or decreased it?

"You are a very active participant in the dysfunctional way we carry-on. (As am I.) You often goad other justices by pushing and pushing in conference in a way that is simply rude and completely nonproductive. ..."...

Said Prosser: "There is not the slightest doubt that Ann wrote that e-mail to hurt me in this campaign - and here it is surfacing three weeks before the campaign."...
Incredibly ugly.  It's hard to picture judges acting this way. I hope there's questioning about this in the debate between Prosser and his opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg, which takes place on March 28th.

38 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Judges seem determined that we should see them as biased, nasty, partisan individuals: perhaps worse than the average.

Carol_Herman said...

Oy. Isn't this stuff like helium in a balloon? Doesn't it motivate more people to vote for Prosser? (He's already demonstrated his ability to get more votes than Klopping-trot).

Where are the advantages to "unloading" in this manner? Was it the Internet that brought out these bad habits? Because the post office can come after you for sending this through the US Mail?

Jim Shankerman, I thought, was just a lonely, crazy, outlier.

Browndog said...

Justices vs. morality.

seems to be a toss up...

whence, once they were integrated.

by definition

chickelit said...

When Grey Davis faced a recall election against Schwatzenegger, the best the Union thugs could come up wit was the "gropinator" stuff a short time before the election.

It failed then, it'll fail again.

Mary Beth said...

If you don't want your email to made public you don't copy it to a bunch of people. She's either lying or stupid.

vbspurs said...

What in hell is going on up there in Wisconsin?? Sheesh, nasty posters, nasty emails, nasty manifestos. Why are liberals always so ANGRY?

edutcher said...

Funny how things like this always surface when the Lefties could lose.

vbspurs said...

What in hell is going on up there in Wisconsin?? Sheesh, nasty posters, nasty emails, nasty manifestos. Why are liberals always so ANGRY?

Because they can't stand not getting absolute power, world domination, total control over peoples' lives.

Not unlike Goldfinger and the SPECTRE crowd when your fabled countryman louses things up for them.

30yearProf said...

"Judges seem determined that we should see them as biased, nasty, partisan individuals."

They are. Just like the rest of us but usually they (and the entire legal profession) pretend that the "Emperor has nice new clothes." Hiding their faults under a robe of black doesn't cure any fault.

You let me pick the panel and I can practically guarantee the result. Impartiality went out with the 19th Century (if it ever existed).

Comment based on 40 years of law practice.

vbspurs said...

Edutcher wrote:

Because they can't stand not getting absolute power, world domination, total control over peoples' lives.

This is why I dislike idealistic people. They act as if the weight of the world is on their shoulders, every day, every hour of the day, in perpetuity. First, how pompous. Second, how tiresome.

Carol_Herman said...

"In Conference," is supposed to be secret! It's like Justice Brennan, when Nina Tottenberg was his mistress, spilling the beans about the Monday Conferences at the Supreme's, to Bob Woodward.

"Congeniality contests" my arse!

But ammunition trying to get Prosser? You bet!

Hope the "trick" fails.

traditionalguy said...

Now if we could get another James O'Keefe candid camera operation going inside the Wisconsin Supreme Court's offices, then Wisconsin really will become where it's all happening .

Carol_Herman said...

Here's a recommendation for Noah Feldman's SCORPIONS. A fabulous non-fiction book about FDR's picks to the Supreme Court. (Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas. And, Robert Jackson.) You know, they didn't get along. Even though they were all liberals.

In the fly leaf of this book Feldman quoted a law clerk of Frankfurter's: "The Supreme Court is nine scorpions in a bottle."

kamper said...

"In the context of this, I said, 'You are a total bitch,' " Prosser said.

"I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted. . . . They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."


So he admits to being abusive but it wasn't his fault because she 'goaded' him into it (probably didn't have dinner on the table). Oh, and he's the victim.

David said...

"You let me pick the panel and I can practically guarantee the result. Impartiality went out with the 19th Century (if it ever existed)."

Very early in my own law practice, I was schooled in the term "fiduciary." I was also taught that my responsibility as a lawyer was always to my client, and that I must exercise that duty regardless of my self interest or personal views, within the confines of the law and of legal ethics.

In the course of my career, I encountered many men and women who lived up to those responsibilities. Some of them were judges. They all had personal interests and strongly held points of view. They learned to recognize these self interested aspects of themselves, and to act in a fair, impartial manner, free of self interest. Nearly all had some sort of institutional review process, and a person or persons they could consult if they were doubtful about how to approach a problem.

Certainly the efforts at impartiality were imperfect at times, but the point was that these people made fairness and impartiality a primary goal in their professional lives.

It's not that hard to do if you make it a goal. It's impossible if you don't.

Ren said...

Prosser has a reputation for being an extraordinarily nasty judge. To see something like this isn't really unbelievable. Regardless of all the political crap going down, Prosser was probably going to lose anyways--he has a record of ignoring the law and following whatever rulings fit his ideology. I doubt he comes out on top in this election.

I know that all of the law professors in the school despise him, mainly because his rulings in criminal cases are very, very frustrating. We read a number of cases last semester where he essentially attempts to mold the statutes to his liking and ignores precedent. It'll be nice to have a justice come in that actually makes a decent run at following the law as it is written.

Browndog said...

At what point does AlThouse see herself as the last Keeper of the Realm?

The Last of the Mohican Jurists..

The one to tell incoming Judges to pull up their saggy pants, take the Ipod out of their ears, and episode #977 of Star Trek is not case law!

Firehand said...

Somewhere, a few years back, I read a post by a lawyer who said(near as i can remember)
"Most lawyers are not very good at the job and often hard to deal with, and some downright nasty; why anyone thinks putting one of them in a black robe changes that, I don't know."

Steve Austin said...

I think there needs to be some discussion of Shirley Abrahamson here. She's been a leftist freak since day one on that court. My guess is that once Loophole Louie lost, she's having a hard time being on the losing side so much.

In a way, the last three years Shirley's behavior has been foreshadowing the current behavior of her public union brethren. They aren't used to the rest of the State outside Madison actually questioning how the liberal elites run things.

She's not aging well.

Sloanasaurus said...

Maybe all the justices should resign, since there is an appearance that none of them give a shit about the law. You should not have so many 4-3 decisions. Its ridiculous.

vnjagvet said...

A drive-by stinkbomb just before a contested election. Reading the story, there seems to be enough bad behavior to go around. I am not persuaded Kloppenberg's election would improve the behavior and collegiality (or lack of it) on the Court.

MadisonMan said...

There is not the slightest doubt that Ann wrote that e-mail to hurt me in this campaign - and here it is surfacing three weeks before the campaign.

She wrote it more than a year ago.

I notice he doesn't deny anything in the email. Just whines that it's all political. Emphasis on whine.

As for Shirley A., like her or not, she is incredibly hard-working.

vnjagvet said...

And the email just happened to leak out now. What a coincidence.

Maguro said...

So judges are egotistical, backstabbing assholes. Who woulda thunk it?

WineSlob said...

From the JS Article:

--"Bradley allowed the Journal Sentinel to review the e-mails at the newspaper's request."

--Bradley: "I never intended that this would be public," she said.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/118310479.html

Obviously Walsh-Bradley alerted the JS reporter to the existence of the emails. Her statement that she did not intend to make this public therefore cannot be truthful.

Walsh-Bradely excoriated justice Gableman for a supposed lack of truthfulness in connection with the Butler reelection campaign. It would appear that in making this CYA statement that she did not wish to make the matter public, she is guilty of that which she so vehemently decried.

Seven Machos said...

Prosser was probably going to lose anyways

Right, dude. Absolutely. Because he's evil.

rhhardin said...

This is what happens when you let women in.

William said...

I'm reminded of Althouse's conversation with the young lady a few days ago. I function at a level of cynicism that led me to agree somewhat with the young lady. But I have sufficient respect for the rule of law and abstract principles to believe that law school professors and, of course, judges should argue as Althouse did. The judges, though, apparently fall in the camp of that young lady.

Robert said...

http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/03/figures-son-of-wisconsin-activist-judge-is-seiu-afl-cio-activist/#comments

And, vote in this poll in support of Gov. Walker.. Vote like a Dem, early and often..

http://www.journaltimes.com/polls/html_e7df0506-44fc-11e0-b687-001cc4c002e0.html#pd_a_4647768%23pd_a_4647768_

Joe said...

Is it possible that Prosser is a crappy judge, regardless of ideology.

(With few exceptions, I tend to vote against all judges as a matter of course. I loathe the practice of lifetime appointments.)

Ren said...

Joe,
Appointments in the WI Supreme Court last 10 years, not a lifetime. However, Prosser is a terrible judge. Besides being a mean, vindictive person, he frequently bends his rulings to line up directly with his own ideologies, completely ignoring the law. It's one thing to vote one way or another with reason, but he doesn't do that. Many, many of his rulings have been so far off what the law is that lawyers, judges and law professors alike have been stunned.

Regardless, like I said before--Prosser was going to lose anyways. Even without this email, his reputation his very well-known in WI.

muddimo said...

In other words, that little red headed gal you interviewed the other day has a more realist view of reality than the law professor, on this matter at least.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
damikesc said...

Wow, a 13 month old story right before an election. Shocking.

M. Sean Fosmire said...

Maybe we should have a contest between your state and mine (Michigan) to determine which has had the nastiest judicial conflicts in the last five years. It would be a close one.

Class factotum said...

he frequently bends his rulings to line up directly with his own ideologies...his rulings have been so far off what the law is

As always, actual data to back up your claims is welcome.

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