‘Here come de judges’

I love this story.

You could not write a better script for a legal oriented television show. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission filed formal ethics allegations Friday against state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser over the June incident with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. To show how serious they are about the charges the commission did not request a specific form of discipline. However, they have requested that the Supreme Court send this to a panel of three Appeals Court Judges to consider the allegations.

I don’t know the procedures for such a hearing but if witnesses are called guess who they’ll be–that’s right, all but one Judge that sits on the same Supreme Court. And if two of the three panel Judges believe there to be violation(s) the next step is to have a hearing with –you guessed it–the full Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett found criminal charges were not warranted in the incident. I know the requirement here is different then for criminal charges but I predict this will never go to the three Judge panel. Just for the fun factor I almost wish it would — I miss Laugh-in.


  1. Combine that judge issue with the idea that 29 others signed the recall petition for Governor Scott Walker and you have a good picture of how completely nuts Wisconsin can be.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    Here are the formal allegations against Judge Prosser:

    1. Judges must be “patient, dignified and courteous” to those involved in the court system.

    2. Judges must cooperate with one another.

    3. Judges should maintain high standards of conduct to ensure the integrity of the judiciary.

    Based on the testimony in the criminal investigation and these charges, I would suggest the wrong Judge is being investigated.

    And further it has been revealed, as Cindy points out, in conjunction with this story that 29 Judges have signed the Walker petition. To justify his signing Brown County Judge Mark Warpinski said this:

    “I concluded that by signing a recall petition, I wasn’t advocating for a particular party, I was advocating for the recall process, which I thought was completely separate and apart,”

    So this fall when I vote for George Allen in the Virginia Senate election I’m really voting to support us having a US Senate, not for any particular political party.

    Also Dane County Judge David Flanagan, who issued a restraining order against the Walker-backed Voter ID Law, signed the petition and never disclosed his support of the recall.

    As someone not living in Wisconsin I am hesitant to be critical of your judicial system but this is laughable. What is really going on here is that these judges were unaware that their signatures would be filtered out and made public, or they are just plain–really stupid.

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    I didn’t think this made for TV story could produce another plot line–but I was wrong. It seems Gannett Wisconsin, the press outfit that exposed the Judges in this story, has received a little exposure itself. They admitted this weekend that 25 of their indepedent journalists also signed the petition to recall Governor Walker –thus participating actively in the political process on which they are supposed to ‘observe and report’. In his apology, Kevin Corrodo, President and Publisher of Gannett’s Green Bay Press-Gazette stated,

    those who signed the petition were in breach of Gannett’s principles of ethical conduct.

    I am slighty surprised at this relevation myself. I thought there would be more signers than the 25.