Saturday, June 25, 2011

Justice Prosser grabs Justice Walsh's neck

Violent confrontation not uncommon for conservative justice

Revealed this weekend were allegations that State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, fresh off of his re-election campaign in April, became involved in a physical altercation with one of the Court's other female justices.

According to several accounts, Prosser met with fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley (whom he once described as a "master at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements") in her office. After a few verbal spats regarding the collective bargaining case that the justices were set to rule on, Prosser grabbed Bradley's neck with his hands.

This isn't the first time that Prosser has had an issue with his temper. As a state legislator, Prosser had a tantrum because a film crew was documenting him within the State Assembly during debate on a health bill.

Prosser's temperamental attitude followed him into the Supreme Court. Earlier this year, for example, Prosser had called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "bitch" and that he'd "destroy" her politically. At the time, Prosser believed he was justified in doing so -- "I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted,” Prosser said.

Regarding his wrapping his hands around the neck of a female justice, Prosser has remained mum. "I have nothing to say about it," he said.

Prosser can remain silent for as long as he'd like; but he would better serve our state by coming forward and apologizing for his actions. It's unthinkable that anyone would do this to their fellow "coworker." That a person in such a distinguished position of power (a member of their state's high court) would conduct himself in such a way is unconscionable, especially since physical violence (or even the threat of it) towards any judge is considered a criminal act.

Prosser's very presence on the Court will continue to tarnish its reputation, and perhaps create an unfit working environment for his fellow justices. The proper thing to come from this incident is for Prosser himself to resign. It's doubtful, however, that a man so sure of his own righteousness could be humble enough to recognize his own limitations as well...and that's why I won't be holding my breath waiting for Justice Prosser to do the right thing.

UPDATE (Sunday June 26): Both Justices Prosser and Bradley have since come out with comments regarding the situation. Prosser denies the allegations placed against him, while Bradley confirms that she was indeed choked by the conservative justice. Conflicting opinions on the incident at hand...stay tuned for more information as it comes.


  1. There are 2 sides to every story. Let's hear what really happened. I don't believe, for a minute, that Prosser touched Bradley without provocation or self defense.

  2. Okay, Anonymous, exactly what in your world is just provocation for grabbing a coworker by the neck during a heated debate?

    We have harassment and assault laws discouraging that in mine.