Heartland Institute Reacts to Closed Investigation of Alleged Wisconsin Justice Scuffle

Published August 25, 2011

The special prosecutor appointed to investigate the alleged fisticuffs between two justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided Thursday that no criminal charges ought to be filed.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused Justice David Prosser of putting her neck in a chokehold during a June meeting of most justices on the court. Prosser said Bradley approached him, as if to punch him, and he put his arms out to defend himself, accidentally touching her.

Maureen Martin, senior fellow for legal affairs at The Heartland Institute and a long-time resident of Wisconsin, offers the following comments for attribution. For more information, or to book Martin on your program, please refer to the contact information below. Martin has written about this case on Heartland’s blog, Somewhat Reasonable.

“It’s called winning ugly. A special prosecutor in Wisconsin declined to pursue criminal charges against either Supreme Court Justice David Prosser or Justice Ann Walsh Bradley after reviewing witness statements and other evidence about the alleged altercation between the two in June.

“Bradley said Prosser choked her. Prosser said he put up his hands to fend her off. Witness accounts ‘varied’ about what happened, the special prosecutor said.

“Whatever happened – we’ll know more when investigative reports are made public – it’s a sad day for the court to have its disagreements become even slightly physical, and even more sad for them to be aired in public.”

Maureen Martin
Senior Fellow, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.