The Associated Press is reporting a criminal inquiry has been opened into the accusation that conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser “choked” liberal colleague Ann Walsh Bradley. On the surface, this is a black eye for both Prosser and Wisconsin Republicans who worked hard to ensure his re-election in a tough race that revolved around efforts to overturn the state legislature’s votes to limit the collective bargaining rights of state employee unions in order to balance the budget. But it turns out the charge against Prosser may be as bogus as the liberal claims that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled legislature were turning the Badger state into Nazi Germany.
Christian Schneider, a fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, writes in National Review today to tell the inside story about this judicial brawl. According to Schneider’s sources, the set-to between the two judges turns out to have been instigated by Bradley, who charged Prosser, who had put his hands up to ward off his colleague’s assault. The two were immediately separated, after which Bradley claimed she had been “choked,” even though the majority of those present said it never happened. Schneider says those involved believe Bradley chose not to make a complaint herself because she knew it wouldn’t stand up in court. The story was leaked to the George Soros-funded Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, which promoted the accusation against Prosser and backed it up with anonymous sources.
This is just another sign of how brutal the battle between liberals and conservatives in Wisconsin has become. Having failed to stop the governor’s legislative agenda via boycotts by Democratic legislators and then a failed court challenge, is appears the next phase of this no-hold-barred dustup are attempts to personally destroy those associated with support of Walker’s ideas. While not much may come of the investigation against Prosser, it is a sign of how nasty things have gotten there. While one would hope that judges, of all people, would use this incident as a sign its time to turn down the temperature in Wisconsin, it may be the start of a new round of political mudslinging.