Custom Search

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alternate Headline Of Bradley/Prosser Justice War: 'She charged him with fists raised'

After conservative leaning Supreme Court Justice David Prosser won the controversial election earlier this year handing liberals a painful loss, then the recount where Prosser still came out ahead, one would think liberals wound have licked their wounds and moved on.

One would be wrong if they thought so.

Latest Wisconsin news involves Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Supreme Court Justice David Prosser where initial headlines quoting an anonymous source claimed that Justice Prosser "choked" Justice Bradley. No arrests were made and no charges filed against Prosser but liberals sites jumped off the cliff fast and furiousy before subsequent reports added a few facts to the news accounts.

Such as, there were other witnesses and according to another unnamed witness, Bradley charged after Prosser with fist raised and Prosser "put his hands in a defensive posture," adding "He blocked her."

Another source said the justices were arguing over the timing of the release of the opinion, which legislative leaders had insisted they needed by June 14 because of their work on the state budget. As the justices discussed the case, Abrahamson said she didn't know whether the decision would come out this month, the source said.

At that point, Prosser said he'd lost all confidence in her leadership. Bradley then came across the room "with fists up," the source said. Prosser put up his hands to push her back.

Bradley then said she had been choked, according to the source. Another justice - the source wouldn't say who - responded, "You were not choked."

He said, she said, they said.

Ann Althouse seems to be the go-to on this. Besides being a law professor, she also is local and is keeping a close eye on the situation and she makes a few good points.

I'm reading the Journal Sentinel's account as referring to 3 — not 2 — sources, with 2 of the 3 versions portraying Bradley as the aggressor: "the source... another source... [a]nother source...."

I want to know not only what really happened at the time of the physical contact (if any) between the 2 justices, but also who gave the original story to the press. If Prosser really tried to choke a nonviolent Bradley, he should resign. But if the original account is a trumped-up charge intended to destroy Prosser and obstruct the democratic processes of government in Wisconsin, then whoever sent the report out in that form should be held responsible for what should be recognized as a truly evil attack.

ADDED: Everyone who thinks Prosser must to resign if he attacked Bradley ought to say that if Bradley attacked Prosser, she should resign. If that happens, then the tactic of leaking the original version of the story to the press will have backfired horrifically for Democrats, as Governor Scott Walker will name the Justice to replace Bradley. If both Justices erred and must resign, that will be 2 appointments for Walker, both of whom, I would imagine, will be stronger, younger, and more conservative than Prosser, and, with Bradley gone, the liberal faction on the court will be reduced to 2, against a conservative majority of 5.

Byron York from Washington Examiner adds more detail.

I Own The World turns the original liberal headlines around now that there are more sources saying Bradley initiated the physicality of the exchange:

Four Ways Justice David Prosser Can Be Removed From Office

This was the heady “reporting” by Think Progress in the wake of the rumor that newly re-elected Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Prosser had “choked” Judge Ann Walsh Bradley.

Think did a thorough job of detailing how the class H felony was going to lead to Prosser’s

a: Resignation b: Impeachment c: Removal by Address d: Recall

This is a very useful article. We can now use it to have Judge Ann Walsh Bradley removed from her position. It seems the worm has turned.

Bottom line is unless charges are filed against either Justice and there is a trial, no crime has been committed.

It works both ways, both individuals are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. Perhaps the liberals that jumped on this bandwagon should have thought of that before they starting touting unproven, false headlines in the first place.

[Update] Althouse also has some relevant questions about the initial stories and asking whether the first so-called journalist, bill Lueders, had both sides of the accounts and deliberately only reported the one to which liberals jumped all over. (H/T Instapundit)

Lueders needs to tell us whether or not he knew the Bradley-as-the-aggressor story when he presented his original work of investigative journalism under the name of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. If he knew it, why didn't he present the whole context at first? And what was in the "reconstructed account" that got Prosser to decline comment? If Lueders didn't know the alternate version of the story, in which Bradley was the aggressor, why on earth didn't he know? The story he presented is so weird that any thinking person would demand to know more of the context. Did Lueders keep himself willfully ignorant of the more complicated version of the story, and if he did, why? What kind of journalism is that? Truly evil?

Now, let's go back to what Ian Millhiser said: "Should the allegations against Prosser prove true, it is tough to imagine a truer sign that our political system has broken down than if the calls to remove him from office are not unanimous." All right, Mr. Millhiser, I appeal to you. Let's be unanimous about this and show that our political system has not broken down. I agreed with you that if Prosser did what Lueders's story made it seem that he did, Prosser should resign. By your own standard, will you say that if Bradley initiated the physical aggression, running at Prosser with raised fists, that the integrity of our political system demands that there be unanimous calls for Bradley to be removed?

Finally, it must be said: If Lueders had the larger context of the story — including the allegation that Bradley was the aggressor — and he suppressed it in his original account, what he did was not only evil, shameful journalism, it was freaking stupid. All sorts of bloggers and tweeters like Millhiser committed themselves to the firm, righteous position that if Prosser did what is alleged, he must leave the court. Lueders's article lured them into stating a firm and supposedly neutral principle about physical aggression. With that principle in place, they are bound to call for Bradley's ouster, if Bradley really did take the offensive and transform the verbal argument into a physical fight.