Friday saw the release of the official documents in the investigation of the alleged physical altercation at the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- in which liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused conservative Justice David Prosser of grabbing her neck in a chokehold during an argument. A special prosecutor announced Thursday that no charges would be filed.
Read More →
The event occurred on June 13, during an argument over the court's decision to uphold Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation, with Prosser in the court's 4-3 conservative majority and Bradley in the liberal minority, along with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Prosser wanted to release the court's decision quickly, at the urging of the state legislature, but Abrahamson disagreed. Prosser and Abrahamson argued over the matter at Bradley's office, with Prosser just outside the door, and Bradley and Abrahamson inside the office itself. Prosser has maintained that Bradley "charged" at him, and he then put up his own hands as a reflex action, briefly making contact with her neck.
Even skimming the papers, which have been posted online by the Wisconsin State Journal, they reveal a detailed portrait of a court that is deeply dysfunctional, breaking down into personal factions along partisan lines.
During the court's initial meeting with Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs, conservative Justice Patience Roggensack told Bradley that she did not condone Prosser's actions during the altercation, but also said "Ann you do realize you goad him." Also, in their later separate interviews with law enforcement, Prosser and his fellow conservative Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman all described Abrahamson and Bradley as having a "mother/daughter" relationship.
On the other side, Bradley has had growing concerns about her safety and Abrahamson's. Bad relationships have been building up on the court over a long period of time, most notably in a February 2010 incident in which Prosser told Abrahamson "you are a bitch," and also added: "There will be a war against you and it will not be a ground war."