March 22, 2012

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Prosser asks the Judicial Commission to release its records of its inquiry into ethics charges against him.

This is the notorious "chokehold" matter, which we talked about 2 days ago. You may remember that I said:
I want to see the internal records. Judicial ethics matter, but who's watching the ethics of the ethics watcher, the Judicial Commission? The people have a compelling interest in seeing what happened.

Why, for example, was there no charge against Justice Bradley, who, based on the police investigation, which I've read, seems to have charged across the room at Prosser and was perhaps waving fists in his face, causing him to make a reflexive, defensive move that touched her. And she seems to have accused him of putting her in a "chokehold," which none of testimony (from 6 of the 7 justices) supports.

Why take what Prosser did out of context? That alone raises an inference of bias on the Commission....

Prosser must waive confidentiality first. He's going public with his assertion that the Commission was biased, but he still needs to talk to lawyers about whether to waive confidentiality. If he does, I assume the Commission will have to release the records to rebut the inference of bias. If, on the other hand, after making the accusation of bias, Prosser fails to waive confidentiality, I think Prosser should resign and let Scott Walker appoint a replacement.
Okay. So updating my analysis to reflect the news: Prosser need not resign, and the Commission must now release the records. If it does not, we should assume the records reflect bias on the part of the Commission, as charged by Justice Prosser.

24 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Good for him. It's time to strike back and stop taking crap from panels stacked with agenda-driven libuls.

edutcher said...

Althouse speaks and the world obeys.

Patrick said...

I still suspect that there is no charge against Justice Bradley because no one filed such a charge. Can the Commission act if there is no charge filed?

Now that Justice Prosser has asked that the records be released, the Commission might still refuse in order to "protect" the complainant, which I would assume is Justice Bradley. If that is the case, she should publicly request the release of the records, given that it appears she was the first to use the term "chokehold."

damikesc said...

Why should the complainer be protected at the expense of the person the complaint was filed about?

Why should a plaintiff have more of a right to privacy than a defendant?

Prosser put the board on the hot seat here. Good move.

Harsh Pencil said...

I asked this question before: What are the consequences of this charge? Can the commission kick Prosser off the court, or can they simply write a strongly worded letter?

If it's the latter, Prosser should just stiff arm them.

Hagar said...

There was some doubt?

Wally Kalbacken said...

He should apply a figure four leg lock. Then it would be Goodnight Irene!

Jacques Cuze said...

So as a citizen, I have been a very distant third party to ethics investigations in government, academia, and business.

Sadly, it has been my experience that ethics committees are mostly interested in protecting the institution and the status quo, and rarely seem interested in proving truth, or justice, or even due process and so can mostly be counted on to enact some pre-arranged outcome on their target and will arrange the testimony to justify such.

I don't know who is guilty of what here, but I think Prosser's impeachment trial should be a public impeachment not some closed door ethics investigation.

traditionalguy said...

The Prosser-cution goes on and on like the energizer bunny.

If Prosser dies before it's over, the Wisconsin Dems would dig up his bones and burn them.

One way to spot a relatively power-less official is to see how much pomp and circumstance he/she wants paid to him/her in procedure issues.


This Prosse-cuter is not powerful at all. He wants secrecy to hide that.

james conrad said...

If this turns out to be a one sided political witch hunt using the legal system to settle scores, who investigates and or sanctions the commission?

james conrad said...

In North Carolina several years ago, we had a prosecutor (Mike Nifong), who abused his authority for political gain and was jailed, fined & disbarred. Anyone who abuses their legal authority for politics should suffer a similar fate, even in Madison.

damikesc said...

In North Carolina several years ago, we had a prosecutor (Mike Nifong), who abused his authority for political gain and was jailed, fined & disbarred.

Sadly, Durham County has yet to learn its lesson in this regard.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/03/02/2418901/durham-prosecutor-removed-from.html

damikesc said...

Sorry, story getting memory holed a lot for whatever reason.

Link: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/d670384ff0be4d61abd98af04ac33d4e/NC--Durham-DA-Removal/

Mark O said...

The least transparent of all groups are judges investigating themselves. This is corrupt and any seasoned observer knows it. What a strange little cow town.

james conrad said...

I still suspect that there is no charge against Justice Bradley because no one filed such a charge.

I am not buying that argument. For any fact finding investigation, one must examine the scope of the entire incident, anything less is a fraud.

Patrick said...

I was thinking that Prosser, understanding the nature of the confrontation, hasn't filed a charge against Justice Bradley. In the event a charge against Justice Prosser succeeds, such a charge against Justice Bradley, it seems to me, must also succeed, assuming that she did in fact charge him. By not filing such a charge, Prosser is being a better Justice, and showing that "two wrong charges don't make it right."

Alex said...

I love hearing how conservatives justify Prosser putting his hands around Bradley's neck. Keep spinning away cons.

Alex said...

Since when is a chokehold acceptable behavior?

Fen said...

There wasn't a choke hold.

And he didn't put his hands around her neck.

Other than that, you make a good point.

Chef Mojo said...

Alex, isn't it exhausting to to be trolling both sides? Must get confusing for someone of limited intellect such as yourself.

ndspinelli said...

edutcher, sycophant extrodinaire. Where's Carol "The Ditz" Herman?

leslyn said...

Althouse tells you to "assume"--and so you do.

I presume you've heard what assuming does. Count me out, because I'd rather await the outcome.

BTW: Chef Mojo said... "Alex, isn't it exhausting to to be trolling both sides? Must get confusing for someone of limited intellect such as yourself."

I call Kony!

leslyn said...

Sorry, that was supposed to be "I call Moby!"

My autospeller is apparently a little out of date.

leslyn said...

Hmmm---where did my post from just minutes before go? It did show up, which was when I niticed that I had to correct my spelling of "Moby."

Do you think it was removed?....Nahhh, that would be paranoid.