In case you’ve been in a cave all weekend, there was a physical altercation between Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley a week and a half ago as all but one of the Supreme Court justices were in Bradley’s chambers discussing the timing of the release of the order affecting Act 10, the budget repair/collective bargaining law. What is known is Prosser made some remarks directed at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson after she suggested that the release would be delayed until after the end of June (this despite a majority ready to issue an order), Bradley demanded Prosser leave her chambers, and contact about Bradley’s neck ensued. The under-reported version of the events from anonymous sources (as far as I can tell, the only media reports that include that version come from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and that version is “mysteriously” missing from the AP coverage widely reported nationwide) claim Bradley charged Prosser with fists raised and that the contact was defensive on Prosser’s part, while Bradley is belatedly publicly claiming Prosser put her in a “chokehold”, matching the first “anonymous” claims.
I’ll send you over to Althouse for a steady stream of updates, including the less-than-fully-acknowledged wholesale ReWrite™ of the original Soros-funded Wisconsin Watch piece after the MJS turned up the version that included a charging Bradley. I do have a heap of questions on this:
- Why was this discussion happening in Bradley’s chambers? Bradley is neither the Chief Justice (Abrahamson, who was present, is) nor an author of any part of the set of orders/concurrences/dissents. I don’t claim to know standard operating procedure at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but it would be logical that, especially when the Chief Justice is involved in discussions, the discussions would happen in the Chief Justice’s chambers.
- Why did Bradley choose to intervene in a verbal dispute between Prosser and Abrahamson? The last time I checked, Abrahamson was able to handle herself in the verbal arena. If Bradley felt the need to intervene, both Prosser and Abrahamson should have been asked to depart the room.
- If it was a “chokehold”, why has the only action by the Capitol Police been, as of this morning, been to have the chief, Charles Tubbs, meet with all 7 justices (including the not-present Patrick Crooks)? I know we’re talking about the Capitol Police and Chief Wiggu…er, Tubbs here, but how long does it take to interview 6 Justices and perhaps an equal number of staff (note; I have not seen anything that states that anybody other than the Justices were present)?
WITI-TV has reported that the Capitol Police anticipates releasing a statement today, though that has not come as of yet. The Journal Sentinel is quoting anonymous sources that the Capitol Police will be handing over the investigation to the Dane County Sheriff’s office.
- The $64 million question from Darleen Glick – (D)o you think that a woman like Bradley, who seriously considered calling the cops because Prosser used a profanity about another justice would not call the cops if she was the victim of an unprovoked, physical assault in front of witnesses? More properly, that question would be one of pressing charges as at some point the Capitol Police was notified of the incident.
On the other hand, Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway has physically assaulted fellow board members on multiple occassions, and no police report was filed.
Revisions/extensions (1:48 pm 6/27/2011) - Almost immediately after I posted, Tubbs turned over the investigation to the Dane County Sheriff’s office (same link).