Despite his "I spend my Friday nights handcrafting latchhook rugs in front of the TV set" appearance, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser sounds like a total thug. In his latest, alleged rage-out, Prosser grabbed a fellow justice with both hands during an argument. Authorities are maybe investigating, or maybe not?
Neither Prosser nor his chemistry-teacher glasses are speaking to the press about the alleged incident, which is said to have involved Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and taken place in Bradley's office. Here's how "at least three knowledgeable sources" described the incident to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism:
They say an argument that occurred before the court's release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees culminated in a physical altercation in the presence of other justices. Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands.
The unidentified sources say someone contacted the Capitol police chief, but he isn't talking. Neither is Bradley. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which investigates cases of justice-on-justice violence (which are probably not very common?), is also keeping mum.
So, who knows. But it seems Prosser does harbor some animosity toward Bradley: In an email released in March, Prosser called her and Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson "masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements," and accused them of "bullying." Talk about projection! In the same email, Prosser also called Abrahamson a "bitch," and threatened to destroy her. Eventually he confirmed that he'd written the email and said he "probably overreacted," adding that he'd written the email immediately after robbing a bunch of liquor stores and getting a Tasmanian devil tattoo (in our colorful imagination).
Prosser's also been known to pound podiums and engage in a little "screaming at other representatives" during debates. First appointed to the court in 1998, he almost lost reelection this year—not because of his temper, but because of a computer glitch. The people of Wisconsin are a forgiving bunch!
It's always the quiet-seeming ones you gotta watch out for.