March 24, 2011

What if Prosser is right?

David Blaska asks:
About a year ago, State Supreme Court Justice Prosser lost his temper behind closed doors and called [Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson] a "bitch" and threatened to "destroy" her.

Problems got so bad that justices on both sides described the court as dysfunctional, and Prosser and others suggested bringing in a third party for help.... This is being used by hyper partisans to "prove" that Justice Prosser, after 13 years on the bench and 17 years in the State Legislature, is unfit for the court....
Read the whole thing.

74 comments:

Quayle said...

The bizarre world of the left, where to be a bitch is considered better than to spot and call a bitch.

MadisonMan said...

The best line in that article was the last one:

And write in Thuy Pham-Remmele for Mayor of Madison!

THAT would be spectacular! Not good for the city at all, but highly entertaining.

Would these justices have the same complaint if Abrahamson was a male? I'm afraid I usually ask this question when I read articles like this. Four White Men in 1999 po-ed because of a woman not telling them what's going on.

Triangle Man said...

What did he mean by "bitch"? That she complains? That she is assertive?

XWL said...

Being a terrible person and a good judge don't seem antithetical to me.

Nor is it automatically a good thing for judges within a court to get along. Nothing wrong with personal animosity, so long as professional judgement isn't impaired because of it.

I think being a know it all jerk is almost a pre-requisite for being a really good judge, rather than a detriment.

Carol_Herman said...

Bull Hockey! I read Noah Feldman's SCORPIONS. Title comes from one of Felix Frankfurter's law clerks. Who said: "The Supreme Court justices are like 9 scorpions in a bottle.)

Perhaps, except for lawyers who remember this stuff from their textbooks, you're looking at justices, in Feldman's book, that contain "some of our greatest" ... and, FDR appointed them:

Felix Frankfurter
Robert Jackson
Hugo Black
William O. Douglas

Fought with each other to define legal "liberalism."

Also, let me add that Justice Brennan's mistress was Nina Tottenberg. Brennan gave "pillow talk" that Tottenberg repeated to Bob Woodward. Who wrote "The Brethren."

There are no secrets!

I wish Judge David Prosser a lot of luck!

And, yes. I do remember reading that people make up their minds about whom they'll vote for, a few months before voting. (But after Labor Day, in presidential years.)

MadisonMan said...

It's interesting, by the way, that Kloppenburg is apparently running against Scott Walker, and Prosser is apparently running against Shirley Abrahamason.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

From the WI Constitution:

In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth
may be given in evidence, and if it shall appear to the jury that
the matter charged as libelous be true, and was published with
good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be
acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law
and the fact.

Carol_Herman said...

People have already made up there minds!

The people who are trying to change what has probably been polled behind the scenes, are hoping that flinging mud will make people cast their votes differently.

These are just another example of "dirty tricks." Nixon mastered it. And, then? It seems his textbook is still in play. (While I think it doesn't work. SHOPWORN!)

Meade said...

Dave Blaska is invaluable to anyone trying to understand Dane County/Madison/Wisconsin politics. I listen to him with Vicki McKenna on 1310 WIBA whenever I get the chance. Those two inspire me.

Ren said...

Yes, let's elect Prosser, the judge who refused to prosecute a priest who was a pedophile.

andinista said...

So the partisans are all in, saying the other guy is bad, and using every (leaked) scrap of evidence. Yet both Prosser and Abrahamson have been re-elected over and over. If WI has such a strong open-meetings law, why are SupCt judicial conferences not included? The decisions and their justifying texts are no longer enough, Wisconsin wants to see how the sausage is made before deciding if it is tasty.

Kloppenburg opened a can of worms when she declared a new role for the WiSpCt, that of being an active counterweight to the Exec and Legis.

I guess this too is what democracy looks like.

Freeman Hunt said...

Would these justices have the same complaint if Abrahamson was a male? I'm afraid I usually ask this question when I read articles like this. Four White Men in 1999 po-ed because of a woman not telling them what's going on.

Of course, there are also plenty of toxic bitches who, when called on it, claim that they are only assertive.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

THAT would be spectacular! Not good for the city at all, but highly entertaining.


Madman, don't leave us non-Madisonians out of the loop. What's the insider scoop on Thuy Pham-Remmele? I noticed that Blaska has mentioned her in multiple columns.

Firehand said...

Remember Cocktail?
"I'm sorry I called you a bitch."
"That's all right, I AM a bitch!"

MadisonMan said...

Of course, there are also plenty of toxic bitches who, when called on it, claim that they are only assertive.

True.

It's not easy to discern the truth for things you don't experience first-hand.

David said...

For many years I lived across the street from a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. The justice was a moderate person, certainly not particularly conservative, and widely respected. S[h]e was very circumspect. Once, just once, out of frustration s[h]e got started on difficulties with Justice Shirley. I never heard my neighbor swear, not even on this occasion, but if I were to translate that opinion into plainer and less polite English, the B word would be a useful shorthand.

AJ Lynch said...

Asking "What if" about anything shows one is a thinker.

Btw- I think someone here said Abrahmson is a very hard worker so she can't be the the problem :).

wv=aftsob [what you hear after Jaws has eaten the crewmembers on the fore]

chickelit said...

@Meade Does the Cap Times still own WIBA AM?

wv = "drowsly" A sleepy Alice D. Millionaire.

David said...

No, Triangle, "Bitch" does not mean assertive. Or even aggressive. It is the female equivalent of describing a particularly nasty and unpleasant man a prick. There are bitches and pricks in the world, and it's particularly ugly when they have considerable power.

MadisonMan said...

Thuy Pham-Remmele is an outgoing city Alderman who, like Shirley Abrahamson in the Supreme Court, rubs colleagues on the City Council the wrong way. To the point where they get up and leave.

PogoПОССУМ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

"What if Prosser is right?"

This story is a variant of the Althouse rule that all news items must be skewed so that the female characterisitic is superior.

And so here.
Man is unstable, maybe violent.
Women is assertive, protective, inclusive.

BTW, I just came from another self-congratulatory presentation on diversity.
Message?

White males? Bad. Must reduce numbers.
Other? Good. Must celebrate, nurture, hire.

PogoПОССУМ said...

Проклятье!
Damn!

Blogger she is Enemy of State!

Carol_Herman said...

Kloppenburger is not ahead!

I'll bet the polls already say so!

And, all you're watching is bizarre dirty tricks.

Will it work? Well, we've got to stay tuned for the results of April 5th's election.

Can the ballots get stuffed?

Will voters be intimidated on their ways to their polling stations?

Was going after Walker's donor's list, with a strike at a local grocery store, not also part of this coercion?

Our Founding Fathers knew a thing or two about frightening voters away. So, we have the secret ballot.

Too bad are voting doesn't keep us off jury duty lists. But when I'm called, I manage to "get even."

I'm also over 70. So I can just ask NOT to go to downtown LA. This, I discovered on my last go-round. Learn something new every day.

Tigerbythetail said...

The person unfit for the high court is Shirley Abrahamson.

edutcher said...

No dog here, but it just may be those who say the toxicity was on the other side are correct and Prosser just got fed up (men do that with women occasionally) was just (are you ready?) Speaking Truth to Power.

If Prosser was one of those asking for outside help, he may be seen as the more reasonable.

Carol_Herman said...

Let's say Prosser wins. Will the left go on a rampage outside his house, and throw nails on his driveway?

When the left showed up on buses to Karl Rove's house. He was taken by surprise. More than 100 people not only rushed his lawn. They knocked on every window they could.

Afterwards, I just think he put in an excellent sprinkler system. (Don't landscape artists help people out, here?)

Michael K said...

The comments to that article are pretty interesting. Among other things, Proser is "accused" of being gay with wink and nod comments about him not being married, and all. I am always amused at how the lefties consider being gay something to be accused of.

The gays might eventually figure out that, with friends like these, they should think about becoming Republicans. Quite a few have figured it out.

traditionalguy said...

As I understand this issue, Abrahamson is a proud bitch from the days of yore when a man "Using A Bad Word" to a bitch in private to her face meant something. That is so out of date. A man is not automatically condemned by that anymore. Saying a bad word in public may be bad form, but that did not happen here. The opponent got some of her buddies to repeat it herself backhandedly in hopes of drawing sympathy for a powerless oppressed woman.

Tom Spaulding said...

Wisconsin's got 99 problems, but a judge ain't one of them.

ricpic said...

Maybe the bitch needed destroying.

Carol_Herman said...

Maybe, the bitch just needs to get slapped?

It's a secret ballot for ya when you vote.

damikesc said...

Would they prefer he call her the "c" word?

Seems more fitting...

The Crack Emcee said...

Yeah, what if? Is it impossible that, heaven forbid, a bitch could be a bitch? That a man could have a point?

That maybe, just maybe, women ain't "goddesses" after all?

Carol_Herman said...

Highly overrated, too, is Sonia Sotomayor.

If you want to believe this bitch is the "wise Latina," I don't care. But we don't vote. All we do is vote for senators.

And, they "confirmed."

At least, here, PEOPLE vote.

Makes the outcome of the April 5th election looking more interesting day by day.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

I just came from another self-congratulatory presentation on diversity.
Message?

White males? Bad. Must reduce numbers.
Other? Good. Must celebrate, nurture, hire.


I am sooooo in there!

But don't worry about it, homie - I'll help you out.

Carol_Herman said...

Crack, You mean Kloppenburgeroo, or her friend, Abramson, birthed puppies?

Synova said...

It matters if Prosser is right.

It matters to anyone who cares about the truth if Prosser is right or if he's not.

I doubt it matters even a little bit to most of the people voting there, though.

The comments were interesting... whining about how it's absolutely acceptable to try to destroy people who don't share your politics (but apparently not acceptable to use the word) by organizing a boycott, that and the suggestion that Prosser is gay so he let a pedophile skate. (I agree, wow, these are your friends?) And just a little bit of moral outrage (okay, mostly it was all the same commenter) about how no matter how much of a bitch someone is it's never ever okay to lose your temper and say so.

traditionalguy said...

Crack is right that most women are far from goddesses. But a fine looking woman like Liz Taylor was still one of the 10 wonders of God's created world for which I am thankful. Crack may be a wonder too, but he is farther down the list.

johnvert said...

Watch the Marquette debate and you will wonder how such an airhead like Kloppenburg got a law degree.

AJ Lynch said...

Your blog has captured a real ugly side of Wisconsin. All I see from the losing political side and the protestors is them shrieking and crying "me me me". And that has ruined the picture I held that Midwesterners were far less strident and self-involved than us assholes on the Coasts.

Reagan said...

Prof. Althouse:

I read the entire article, and none of it surprised me. I think the fact that J. Prosser called C.J. Abrahamson a "total bitch" says more about his temperament than hers. If you care about judicial temperament, the question is whether Ms. Kloppenberg's temperament is better than J. Prosser's. Even if Justice Prosser is correct and C.J. Abrahamson is a "total bitch" his inability to refrain from saying so is troubling at least. If I disagreed with someone repeatedly at work and told her that she was a "total bitch" (rather than just a partial one) and that I would "destroy" her, I would probably get fired. Should he?

Also, why is the Republican Party distributing his campaign signs? I thought this was a non-partisan election?

virgil xenophon said...

tradguy/

Far down the list? You mean Crack is in a "black-hole?" :) (Sorry, Crack--I just couldn't resist)

Reagan said...

Meade: "Dave Blaska is invaluable to anyone trying to understand Dane County/Madison/Wisconsin politics. I listen to him with Vicki McKenna on 1310 WIBA whenever I get the chance. Those two inspire me."

I'm glad to hear you've found a place on the dial in Madison to listen to people who likely always agree with you. So comforting. I know Mr. Blaska enjoys a drink and he has a good sense of humor. I am not sure he is inspiring really though, that is a bit of a stretch. Who knows, maybe Meade is easily inspired?

Meade said...

Reagan: Thanks for your opinions even though they're wrong.

Reagan said...

Not sure what is wrong about my opinions, but nonetheless, thanks for thanking me!

Can you tell me what is wrong about what I said, because I'm surprised you apparently find it acceptable for a supreme court justice (or any other professional not involved in the dog industry or acting) to call a colleague a bitch, let alone a total bitch.

Anonymous53726 said...

Meade, thanks for your opinions, even though...I often disagree with them.

AJ Lynch said...

Reagan:
If you had read some of the protestor's signs in the last 2-3 weeks, you oughta be convinced anything goes in WI.

Yet you flinch when someone calls the longtime Supreme Court judge a bitch? You need to grow a set.


And the

traditionalguy said...

Reagan...I am very sad to hear that a private exchange recently made public for Kloppenburg's benefit is so "troubling" to you. Have you tried psychoanalysis? But in any event, time will probably heal the troublesomeness you are feeling so intensely. Do you think washing out Prosser's mouth with soap would help your pure feelings so crushed after hearing a bad, bad word word was spoken in private? Seriously, I would advise you not to attend Wisconsin Badger Football Games where much worse bad words are screamed out in public at the opposing team.

Reagan said...

AJ - that type of discourse is not shocking in a protest.

It is totally unacceptable in the supreme court. I'm fairly certain my "set" is grown, real, and fabulous thank you very much.

toodaloo

Simon said...

Reagan said...
"I think the fact that J. Prosser called C.J. Abrahamson a "total bitch" says more about his temperament than hers."

The convention "[surname], J." or "[surname], C.J." is recorded in cases as early as the thirteenth century, IIRC, and undoubtedly its use goes back even further. I think we should stick with it when abbreviating—Justice Prosser or Prosser, J., but not a mix-n-match.

roesch-voltaire said...

Smart uppity women who push their viewpoint will always be considered a bitch, just as Vicki McKenna, a smart uppity woman, is considered in a negative way by her detractors.

David Blaska said...

Thanks, New Media Meade. Phone Hulsey's office and tell his secretary you are Gerald McEntee; he'll talk to you then.

Reagan said...

I'm sure if Ms. Kloppenberg had called opposing counsel in a case a "fucking asshole" (and in fact the opposing counsel was a fucking asshole) you'd have no problem with it and not claim that her having said so diminishes her qualifications and ability to act as a state supreme court justice. That would pass by with nary a comment.

uh huh.

toodaloo

Trooper York said...

WAIT A SECOND!!!!!!!!!

HARRY BLACKMUN WAS BANGING THE FUCKING GRINCH NINA FUCKIN'TOTTENBERG?

No wonder he wanted everybody to get an abortion.

Freeman Hunt said...

If I disagreed with someone repeatedly at work and told her that she was a "total bitch" (rather than just a partial one) and that I would "destroy" her, I would probably get fired. Should he?

No, you probably wouldn't if your assessment was accurate and shared by many others. You might if you were only saying it because you disagreed with her often.

Methadras said...

Cunty women are cunty.

Maguro said...

I would cut Prosser some slack, he probably hasn't heard about that new "civility movement" that's sweeping America.

andinista said...

What if? There are always free riders. Most of the time, because life is short, and we don't need the complications, we endure their depredations, instead of calling them out (we figure God will call them to account). But every once in a while we just get fed up with the free rider ...

Simon said...

Brennan, Trooper, not Blackmun. You know, I was in St. Louis not long ago, and I found it striking that the eighth circuit courthouse has an encomium to Justice Blackmun. If I were them, I would sweep under the rug that Blackmun was an alum; but for one case serendipitously aligning with the needs of abortion activists, Blackmun's occasionally injudicious (Casey) and even maudlin (DeShaney) tenure would not be fondly remembered.

PETER V. BELLA said...

What if she thought it was a compliment?

Kathy Antley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LawGirl said...

What's more noteworthy to me than what anyone called anyone else or whether that person fits the moniker is that another justice felt it necessary to memorialize this in an email. It was a face-to-face exchange. Justice Prosser isn't the one who put it in writing.

MarkDD975 said...

Reagan, please stop the "toodaloo" crap, or explain what it means. It grates on me more than if you were to call me a bitch, or a dick, or any similar scatalogical term (true, or not). Thanks.

Synova said...

"I'm sure if Ms. Kloppenberg had called opposing counsel in a case a "fucking asshole" (and in fact the opposing counsel was a fucking asshole) you'd have no problem with it and not claim that her having said so diminishes her qualifications and ability to act as a state supreme court justice."

Behind doors as opposed to in the courtroom? Are you kidding?

If *she* called someone a f*cking asshole who was, in fact, a f*cking asshole, she'd be lauded as a tough cookie who took no gruff.

Most men are, as well.

Until someone decides to have a fainting fit over it.

Synova said...

Toodaloo means bu-bye.

Synova said...

You know what this reminds me of?

I haven't watched it, but apparently there is a You-tube of a kid poking at a big kid, pushing, pushing. The big kid says to knock it off, stop it, etc. Little kid keeps on pushing, pushing, pushing. Big kid snaps, face slams little kid, ka-pow.

Big kid gets in trouble.

That's what this reminds me of.

Because I think that the world is split into two camps... those that think it's okay for one party to push, push, push, and never okay for the other party to reach the end of their control in the face of it... and those who recognize that the initial behavior is "toxic" and abusive and hostile, particularly when it is persistent, and the person who finally, *finally*, breaks, is not at fault.

metasailor said...

The bizarre world of the right, where a potential judge calling a colleague a bitch is considered a sign of impartial judicial temperament.

As long as the caller comes from the Right, of course.

Honestly, having that kind of unprofessional little hissy fit makes it more likely that he, in fact, is the bitch. But, opinions are like lawyers, everyone is entitled to have one.

AJ Lynch said...

Goddamn I am officially a fossil when words like toodaloo are from an ancient language!

Synova:
Both kids were suspended. The little kid's parents mde him apologize to the big kid who had been a target of all the school's bullies. Howevr, I think all's well that ends well- the big kid now knows how strong he is and won't be bullied anymore. In fact, I would not b surprised to se him someday starring in a WWF match like Triple H or Hulk Hogan have done.

Synova said...

"The bizarre world of the right, where a potential judge calling a colleague a bitch is considered a sign of impartial judicial temperament."

Nobody said so.

All anyone has said is that it actually does make a difference if Prosser is right.

In the bizarre world of the left, apparently, one is supposed to simply endure the alleged behavior or be guilty while the other party is excused. Unless they aren't excused, in which case it's going to depend not on who is right, but on politics.

mtrobertsattorney said...

XWL's Ideal Judge:

"I don't need any f...ing briefs. I know the f...ing law you retard, and I've made my f...ing decision.

So shut the f...k up/!!!

sarge said...

sarge here...'blaska' sounds like the sounds sarge herd back when sarge got the amoebic colitis down in messico from to many tac-os
leaves thar same little brown spots all over sarges ankles

abeer ahmed said...

visit us on lifeandstylemag.com
http://whois.domaintasks.com/lifeandstylemag.com