Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Attacks Conservative Judge
Published June 27, 2011 | On the Record | On the Record
Special Guests: Crocker Stephenson, 'Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Did you hear is going on in Wisconsin? First Governor Walker's law set many on fire. Remember the protests earlier this year? Protesters so furious with the governor they stormed the state capitol. Now things are getting weirder in Wisconsin, this time inside the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. One justice is accusing another justice of trying to strangle her.
Joining us is Crocker Stephenson, reporter for the "Journal Sentinel." Crocker, I just can imagine it gets any weirder. What is thought to have happened June 13th in the Wisconsin Supreme Court?
CROCKER STEPHENSON, "MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL": Supposedly this occurred in Justice [Ann Walsh] Bradley's office. It was after hours. Most of the justices, were in her chambers they were arguing over the legislation that would limit public workers' rights. Depending on who you talk to, what Justice Bradley says is, she asked Justice [David] Prosser to leave. That he put her -- put her neck in a choke hold, angrily, and choked her.
What Justice Prosser's people are saying that it was Justice Bradley that came from around her desk attacked him. And that he was just protecting himself from her attack. She is 60-years-old. He is 68-years- old. So you wonder what is going on.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was the chief justice there at this incident?
STEPHENSON: All the justices were there, except for --
VAN SUSTEREN: But there's a little more to the story if you back up. You've got this situation where Prosser supposedly, I think in February of this year called chief justice a "bitch." Nothing happened. Then justice --
STEPHENSON: We reported that he called her a "bitch." He corrected us and said he called her a "total bitch."
VAN SUSTEREN: Nothing happened. Then a week later the same justice who now said she got strangled by Prosser sends out an e-mail saying he said she was a total bitch making a paper trail, then ends up in your newspaper to slime Prosser. You've got the chief justice and this woman snitching. Someone leaked to the paper. Now you've got one trying to strangle another and the other says no she came after -- is there anyone who thinks any of these three should remain on your Supreme Court?
STEPHENSON: I don't know about whether these three should be booted off the court or not. I spoke to Governor Walker today. He visited our newsroom he said it is the most dysfunctional court that he could remember. That's saying a lot. We've had some seriously dysfunctional courts.
What would happen, if justices in Wisconsin are elected to 10 year terms, if a justice were removed in the next election which a justice was in standing for reelection they would -- the governor would appoint a Justice and that justice would remain until an election occurred. --
VAN SUSTEREN: Here are the people who are supposed to tell the people of the state of Wisconsin here is the law. They look like a bunch of nuts. They look like thugs and nuts and cheats. How can anyone take any sort of respect for a decision coming out of that court?
STEPHENSON: I think that's the saddest thing about this whole thing. Whatever happened, we right now have the sheriff's department investigating whether a Wisconsin justice choked another Wisconsin justice this is supposed to be the arm of government that is reasoned that is wise. That is supposed to be considering matters with cool objectivity. I know you have a law degree. And you know that only goes so far, but still, it must undermine -- I know it is undermining the credibility the courthouse.
VAN SUSTEREN: We didn't even get to the pettiness in the dissent the chief justice wrote that she wrote about another justice that is so beyond just intellectual disagreement. But we'll get to that another time. Crocker, I hope you come back. I have a feeling there is going to be more to this story.
STEPHENSON: I hope so.