Monday, March 21, 2011

Prosser: A Good Writer And An Even Temperament?

Before the primary in February, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsed incumbent David Prosser for re-election.  Among their questionable reasons for doing so, they included this blurb (emphasis mine):
Though Prosser, 68, shares responsibility for the court's divisiveness, we don't believe he is the problem. Prosser has been a capable justice who has shown the ability to work with his ideological opposites when the situation demands. He is a good writer, has an even temperament and is a hard worker. We disagree with him on disciplining of lawyers - he doesn't see major problems with the lax system the state now employs; we do. But this is not enough to disqualify him.
I wonder how they will try to spin that with the news that came out one Sunday about Prosser's utter lack of judiciousness in regards to the way he treated Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson:
The Feb. 10, 2010, incident occurred as the court privately discussed a request to remove Justice Michael Gableman from a criminal case.

"In a fit of temper, you were screaming at the chief; calling her a 'bitch,' threatening her with '. . . I will destroy you'; and describing the means of destruction as a war against her 'and it won't be a ground war,' " [Justice Ann Walsh} Bradley wrote in a Feb. 18, 2010, e-mail to Prosser and others.
I wonder if they would qualify that as a good writer or as an even temperament?

Even more alarming than this utter lack of professionalism and decorum is his response to what happened:
He said the outburst came after Abrahamson took steps to undermine him politically and to embarrass him and other court conservatives.

"In the context of this, I said, 'You are a total bitch,' " Prosser said.

"I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted. . . . They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."
For crying out loud! The man is 68 years old, has been sitting on the highest bench in the state's judicial system for thirteen years, and still cannot or will not take responsibility for his own behaviors?!  Instead he blames others for "goading:" him?

Even if Abrahamson and Bradley were pushing his buttons, which seems unlikely, his buttons appear to be rather easily pushed.  But whether the "goading" was real or only perceived, that does not mean he is not responsible for his own behaviors.

This lack of personal accountability, which appears to be running theme among the conservative justices, including Annette Ziegler who was actually reprimanded by the court for conflict of interests in her career on a  lower bench and Michael Gableman who is still trying to tell us that the proven slander and lie in his campaign commercial wasn't really slander or a lie.

Prosser is showing the  same lack of personable accountability that the others have shown, and does not deserve to be on the Supreme Court one minute longer.  If he won't hold himself accountable for his own behaviors, how can anyone realistically expect that he'll do the same of anyone else, especially if it is someone that he is politically aligned with?

1 comment:

  1. He learned this defense from testimony in domestic violence cases, I'm guessing? ("She goaded me! she's a master at manipulation!") For Heaven's sake! At least take responsibility for your inability to control your temper!