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March 20, 2011

Great News: Wisconsin Supreme Court is Completely Dysfunctional

These are the people Wisconsin Republicans hope will do the right thing next week and vacate the spurious stay order by a radical (and vacationing) Madison judge:

As the deeply divided state Supreme Court wrestled over whether to force one member off criminal cases last year, Justice David Prosser exploded at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson behind closed doors, calling her a "bitch" and threatening to "destroy" her.

The incident, revealed in interviews as well as e-mails between justices, shows fractures on the court run even deeper than what has been revealed in public sniping in recent years. Problems got so bad that justices on both sides described the court as dysfunctional, and Prosser and others suggested bringing in a third party for help, e-mails show.

How did the the Journal Sentinel get these private emails, you wonder? Oh, yet another justice gave them out at the request of the newspaper. A liberal justice.

It's like this. Wisconsin Supreme Court justices run for election and though they are nominally non-partisan the Court frequently splits along the usual lines. At the moment, there are four conservatives on the court and three liberals. Justice Prosser, a conservative, is running for reelection this year. An election that will take place April 5, to be exact. Unless he is reelected, Prosser's term ends July 31st.

Anyway, I normally wouldn't bother to flag state politics here at the HQ, but these are the folks that Wisconsin Republicans are depending on to do the right thing on the budget repair bill. And while the Republicans absolutely have the law on their side here, the unprofessional behavior on the Court gives me little confidence that the Justices can follow it.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:29 PM

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