September 29, 2011

"If I disagree with someone, then someone says, 'Oh, there goes Justice Prosser violating collegiality.'"

Said Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, resisting taking the "collegiality pledge" proposed by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
The justices voted on the pledge by a show of hands. Six justices raised their hands immediately, but Prosser paused and looked at the ceiling before slowly raising his hand.

Abrahamson, seeing his hesitation, joked that the justices adopted the proposal with six votes "and one additional vote."

Prosser didn't seem amused.

"Is this is in the spirit of what we just adopted?" he asked.
Gotcha! Was that gotcha in in the spirit of what we just adopted?
Abrahamson apologized and said the justices adopted the proposal in seven votes.

Afterward the justices discussed another Abrahamson proposal... to adopt a measure declaring that four justices not be considered a quorum unless their meeting was previously listed on the court calendar. ...

[Justice Annette] Ziegler said she didn't understand where the proposal was coming from...

A brief conversation ensued. As hints of tension became evident, Justice Patience Roggensack asked for and received a 10-minute break. Afterward, she offered only a brief comment.

"I know you've got something in mind. You're sitting there smiling," she told Abrahamson tersely. "I'm not fond of being blindsided and that's what's happening here."

The proposal was tabled without a vote.
The good times roll on at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

50 comments:

MarkG said...

It seems that Abrahamson just keeps on digging.

rcocean said...

Lots of drama due to the Drama Queen.

Scott M said...

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not a legal scholar or understand the finer points of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. However, I do consider myself adept at personal interaction and reading people in general.

I don't know this Abrahamson creature, but she not only seems like a vindictive uberbitch, but not a very bright one at that.

Patrick said...

Well, it's good to see that things are off to a good start.

PatCA said...

The Chief Justice brings to mind the famous Gary Larson cartoon, "Just Plain Nuts."

So, it's sign the pledge...and the other too where you darn cons can't meet together.

If she wants to improve the court's image, she should resign.

Fred4Pres said...

I would recommend grabbing her neck and trying to shake some sense into her.

ic said...

Patience Roggensack is not collegial.

ernelson said...

My god, they really are children.

AJ Lynch said...

This group could have their own highly-rated reality show or even better what's the new show called "Interventions"?

bagoh20 said...

Very impressive. The best of the best... in Wisconsin.

laddy said...

How does a conservative court end up with an Abrahamson as the CJ? Is the CJ appointed by the Gov. or by separate election of the People or by election within the Justices?

bagoh20 said...

That whole scene could be right out of a high school club meeting, like much of the rest of this embarrassing court's recent history.

traditionalguy said...

At last we have one. Prosser is a man's man.

He thinks circles around the crafty trouble maker dressed up in a little old librarian lady persona.

Abrahamson has 2 votes. Prosser has 4 votes and there is one swinger.

So Abrahamson wants to invite the public to come in and be her extra force to check Prosser's power.

If Prosser only had 2 votes, Abrahamson would pull none of this leader of the Court crap.

Titus said...

Sad.

Tits.

Irene said...

laddy, in Wisconsin, the longest-serving Justice gets to be Chief Justice.

Wisconsin used to have a mandatory age of retirement for judges. Until 1977, the law required judges to step down at age 70.

rhhardin said...

A tiger doesn't change his spots.

Fred4Pres said...

This is exactly how my three kids act when they are in the back seat of the car.

Don't make us pull over Wisconsin Supreme Court!

Lem said...

The "new civility" lives..

edutcher said...

The civilized way to end this is for Bradley and Prosser to both get naked and have Abrahamson measure whose is bigger.

SteveR said...

Kumbayah, my lord, Kumbayah

Oedipus said...

Note Patrick Marley's article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in which he quotes a statement presumably written by Justice Abrahamson: "We affirm our commitment to collegiality and collaboration in the manner as we work together the bulk of the time."

Click here for article.

Now, I ask you Ann, to bring all of your training in law to bear and please tell me what that sentence means. Although they are known to hang out with Lefty Keillor, you may wish to consult your colleagues in the English Department.

I hope that the sentence is a misquote or Justice Abrahamson has larger problems than a lack of collegiality.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

Abrahamson is a joke, and four of the other justices know it and are simply stuck with her. Her proposal to say 'four is not a quorum' is just a cynical tactic to prevent her having to implement the wishes of the conservative majority; which was what she was trying to do when she hid out in Bradley's office to delay publication of the collective bargaining ruling. To insult the other justices with a back handed tactic like this flies in the face of the charade she just passed.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

Seems Ms. Abrahamson takes her agenda seriously, but not her job....

Calypso Facto said...

Next the dissent-phobic Abrahamson will be proposing that we suspend elections...

Richard Dolan said...

They seem to have no clue how these games, played out in full public view, denigrate the institution on which they serve.

Pathetic.

Brad said...

Printer dropped part of Abrahamson's quorum proposal. Originally, it read ... "Four is not a quorum unless I'm one of the 'four'."

Calypso Facto said...

Shirley Abrahamson is obviously Dahlia Lithwick's piss-poor model for supreme court justice reasoning and behavior.

lemondog said...

Seems reminiscent of the '50's-60's loyalty oaths. Weren't the oaths considered unconstitutional? Reinventing the wheel?

J said...

At least David "the Enforcer" Prosser didn't bare his teeth and try to attack any of the gals--though a muzzle requirement on DP still seems prudent. Or
'Zine.

David said...

Does Justice Shirley realize that he just called her a bitch again?

(Apparently she deserves the comment. That was a real bitch move, Shirley. Congratulations on the apology though.)

kimsch said...

Can the WI Supreme Court make its own rules on quorum or does the Wisconsin State Constitution dictate what constitutes a quorum?

Carol_Herman said...

Grandma's mask slips off, again.

Prosser has a wonderful sense of humor!

Grandma has none.

Voting on nincompoop stuff. And, "Patience" needed a ten minute break? Does she have to unbutton the flap of her underpants? Didn't she learn she could just pull them down? To unload.

The 10 minute break was done, of course, to move the clock closer to lunchtime.

How come there's no vote to "switch" who gets to be the Chief? Are there fears so great it would then be Crooks' term?

What a farce!

Business must be slow.

nevadabob said...

Judge Shirley Abrahamson is a fucking cunt and Judge Prosser should just come right out and say it. Why beat around the bush? She's a vicious, bullying bitch forcing people to take "pledges" of allegiance as a vicious bullying tactic.

Not only that, this judge engenders hatred of the Judiciary by laypeople in her vicious attacks on a sitting Supreme Court Justice and is a disgrace to the entire bar.

She should be removed from the bar for misconduct.

murgatroyd666 said...

That was such a transparently stupid thing to do ...

Has anyone considered that Abrahamson might actually be going senile?

Under Wisconsin law, what are the procedures for determining whether a Supreme Court Justice is unable to carry out her duties as a result of mental incompetence? And then for booting her off the court?

Alex Ignatiev said...

Memo to self: avoid litigation in Wisconsin's state courts.

Thorley Winston said...

I don’t know what’s worse, the asinine “pledge” or the fact that none of the justices had the wherewithal to pull a Fred Thompson and refuse to play elementary school games.

ricpic said...

I wonder for how many decades Abrahamson went unchallenged?

prairie wind said...

I agree Thorley. So much better if Prosser had not even grudgingly raised his hand.

t-man said...

What does "the bulk of the time" mean? Are they expressly reserving the right to be non-collegial for, say, 30% of the time? Does that apply to the group as a whole, or to each individual Justice, i.e., if Bradley is not collegial 15% of the time, does that mean that the rest of the jusitces split the remaining 15%, or does each justice get to be non-collegial 30% of the time? Under that reading, it is possible that 100% of the time would be non-collegial, thus frustrating the purpose of the pledge.

Have any of these Justices ever drafted a contract? It doesn't sound like it.

t-man said...

Also, I didn't notice the source for the reporting. Was this done at a meeting open to the public, or were minutes publicly distributed? How is the reporter getting these quotes?

Sue D'Nhym said...

Yes. And cruel neutrality enables.

n.n said...

I still wonder what, exactly, distinguishes between a child and an adult. All too often there appears to be a distinction without a difference. Even worse, it is people like the Chief Justice who sit in judgment of others.

Since it is confirmed time and again that we are all just fallible mortal beings, prudence would suggest that we limit the authority granted to any one individual or group. In the inevitable event that their good judgment can ever be called into question.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol_Herman said...

I love David Prosser stories!

He's in a room with this crew of black robed wonders. And, HE USES HIS HANDS!

This time ... with one arm going up slowly ... (Did he then flap his fingers?)

If this stuff gets made into a movie ... it should have the Karl Reiner scene in it. (From Sid Caesar's Show of Show's). The skit involves Reiner taking an order from the seated conference room attendees ... Asking them what deli sandwiches they wanted.

As only the old skits could do. By the end ... He's asking who wants the pickles ... With Sid Ceasar by now standing ... and waving his pickle about!

So, Grandma is a flaming nut job. And, this "pledge" business ... is such a hoot! At least Prosser was SLOW TO REACT!

Isn't that what you want when you're discussing "congeniality?"

Carol_Herman said...

If Prosser's hand was raised any faster ... the dingbat Ann Walsh Bradley would have started to scream "choke-hold!"

Carol_Herman said...

You know if this was really a "congeniality" contest ... It would need "Ms." ... in front of it.

And, then Prosser would have had a pair of women's underpants twirling around his fingers ... on his raised hand.

showbiz111 said...

Judge Abrahamson probably would keep the conservative judges from having any access to posting on the calendar and thus none of the conservatives' meetings would constitute a quorum. Simple leftwing tactics.

marylynn said...

Okay, i am really beyond embarrassed that i live in Wisconsin. From the unions, to the dem senators, to the teachers, to the courts, to the idiocy of Madison, they are all pathetic.

marylynn said...

Okay, i don't know why i let this continuing saga of crap that is Wisconsin get to me. I need to just sit back and LAUGH and appreciate that its more entertaining than anything on TV ....

BimBim said...

Okay, i don't know why i let this continuing saga of crap that is Wisconsin get to me. I need to just sit back and LAUGH and appreciate that its more entertaining than anything on TV ....
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