Last Friday, the Wisconsin Judicial Commission filed an ethics complaint against conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser. Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck during an argument in her chambers and the commission urged the high court to have a panel of three appeals court judges consider whether his actions violated three ethics rules.
Under that proposal, the Wisconsin Supreme Court would review the panel’s findings and decide on Prosser’s fate. But yesterday, the embattled judge — who has explained the alleged assault as a “total reflex” reaction after Bradley “charged” him — suggested his own audacious proposal.
Prosser said all six of his supreme court colleagues should recuse themselves from the case, which would have the apparent effect of killing the proceedings.
“You have six justices who were present at the scene,” Prosser explained, “You have justices with actual bias who are eyewitnesses and, in effect, parties.” A former Republican Wisconsin house speaker, he also blasted the judicial commission for being “partisan.”
By Prosser’s logic, justices would be able to escape punishment by their colleagues for any indiscretion — as long as they committed it in the presence of the rest of the court.