Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
It’s not every day that one state supreme court justice accuses another of choking her in a scuffle in her chambers. That is very serious business, and such an accusation had better be solid.
So when I learned that the scuffle in question occurred in Wisconsin — and that conservative Justice David Prosser was the accused, and liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley was the accuser — I had some suspicions it might be bogus.
So does Byron York of The Washington Examiner, one of the best political reporters in the country. He calls the accusation of assault against Prosser a “smear” and one of the ugliest things he’s seen in his professional experience. I encourage you to read the whole report from York, but here’s why it might be bogus:
1. The incident was first reported by Think Progress, a subdivision of the liberal Center for American Progress lavishly funded by George Soros, the Daddy Warbucks of the left.
2. The first Think Progress report was based on a single anonymous source (I’m guessing Bradley herself), and it was immediately followed by statements from Think Progress that this is the avenue to have the conservative justice removed.
3. Later, more vigorously sourced reports said Bradley attacked Prosser, fists flying. Prosser apparently hit/grabbed/touched her neck in an attempt to defend himself.
4. According to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report, a justice told Bradley: “You were not choked.”
5. This apparently happened a month ago … but is only being reported now.
I guess we’ll eventually learn what happened — as best as can be learned in a he-said/she-said situation. Details are sketchy, but apparently either six justices, or the whole panel of seven, were present for the incident. So far, it appears that only Bradley is sticking to her account.
“The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold.”
“Once there’s a proper review of the matter and the facts surrounding it are made clear, the anonymous claim made to the media will be proven false. Until then I will refrain from further public comment.”
Just a guess, but I don’t think Bradley will refrain from further public comment. Anyway, we have to wait for the facts to come out. But this smells awfully fishy.
I don’t find it hard to believe that the energized and polarized politics of Wisconsin has tempers flaring. But I find it very hard to believe that the mild-mannered Prosser responded to a request to leave Bradley’s chambers by going up to her and putting his hands “around [her] neck in anger in a chokehold” — in front of several of his colleagues on the bench. That’s Bradley’s story, and she’s sticking to it.
Considering the lengths the left has gone to defeat, disparage, and defame anyone who stands in the way of their agenda in Wisconsin — and failing at every turn — this just smells like desperation to me. I’ll publicly admit my error in speculation if proven otherwise.