Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

Kannon wrote:

So, what, exactly does Prosser have to lose by recusing himself from a case that people are arguing he should? At best, in this course of action, he _looks_ like an ass. Wouldn't it be better to sit this one out and not have the appearance of impropriety?

The only thing that stands out is this

If Prosser stepped aside in the case, it would open the possibility of the court splitting 3-3, which would likely leave the regulations in place. Normally if the court splits evenly, the decision by the next highest court stays in place, but this case is unusual in that it was initiated in the Supreme Court.

I have no idea if that's even a concern of his though. It might just be that he feels that recusing himself now, after saying that he wouldn't, would make him appear weak in the eyes of his supporters.

Special Prosecutor Patricia Barrett has determined that no charges will be filed against Justice Prosser or Justice Bradley.

Not a huge surprise, since there were diametrically-opposed accounts by witnesses (neatly split along partisan lines).

Still, props to DA Ozanne for referring it out to a special prosecutor - that's how cases of potential conflict of interest ought to be handled.

Editorial on the Prosser recusal. Includes the fact that Justice Prosser has described attorney Jim Troupis as a "friend of two decades".

We have seen your horse, your honor. It goes off at odds of 4-3.

In the intervening months, the alleged assault by Justice Prosser has gone to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission. Just over a month ago, the Judicial Commission finished their review and recommended that Prosser face discipline over his role in the incident.

In a twist that should probably recuse nobody, Prosser has filed a motion to force the recusal of the three "liberal" Justices on the Supreme Court claiming that, as witnesses, they shouldn't be allowed to rule on whether he should face charges.

The motion notes Prosser told Abrahamson before his altercation with Bradley that he had lost confidence in her ability to lead the court, “which, of course, he had every right to say.”

The motion also states there will be a “factual dispute about the context” of Prosser’s alleged comment that Abrahamson was a “total bitch” that will include the facts and circumstances leading up to the remark, her reaction to it, and her meetings with others about the incident, including other justices, staff, the court marshal, Capitol Police, and a psychiatrist or psychologist.

He also references what he says are writings in court opinions that demonstrate Abrahamson’s hostility toward him.

Prosser didn't file motions seeking the recusals of three fellow conservative justices -- Michael Gableman, Pat Roggensack and Annette Ziegler -- who also witnessed the altercation between Bradley and Prosser. But his lawyer’s office said more petitions were “likely.”

Abrahamson wrote in a letter responding to the motion that an official reply would be premature since the case isn't before the court.

But she did ask Kevin Reak, Prosser's attorney, for a list of justices who would and wouldn't be the subject of additional recusal motions since Prosser previously indicated that no justices should participate.

Note that Prosser has not filed recusal motions for any of the "conservative" Justices, nor has he offered to recuse himself.