New ad highlights Prosser's sexist slur | WisCommunity

New ad highlights Prosser's sexist slur

Today the Greater Wisconsin Committee released a new commercial that highlights the recent news reports that Justice David Prosser called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson “a total bitch” and threatened to “destroy” her.

When the comments were first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Prosser did not back away from his sexist slur, insisting: “I think it was entirely warranted” Instead of taking responsibility for his own actions Prosser blamed Abrahamson and fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley for being: “masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements.”

Several days after the public disclosure of his tirade against the Chief Justice, Prosser continued to blame others for his slur: “Asked how he would return civility to the high court, Prosser accused Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of "ganging up" on him to unseat him from the court, where he has served for 12 years.”

Prosser’s temper tantrums have marked his entire career. The commercial uses footage from his tenure in the legislature when as Assembly Speaker “he threw a temper tantrum on the Assembly floor, pounding the podium and screaming at other representatives, because a film crew was there documenting debate on a health care bill.” (

Just two years ago during a Supreme Court hearing “he not only blew up at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, but launched into a tirade against witnesses who were there advocating tough rules for judges to recuse themselves when principals in a case had contributed big bucks to their election campaigns.”

Watch the wiseye video here: at 1:15

The Wausau Daily Herald recently editorialized about the disclosures about Prosser’s behavior towards the Chief Justice: “What that indicates is an injudicious personality, plain and simple. It's unacceptable behavior in any circumstance -- and surely it's worst of all in a Supreme Court Justice, whose entire job is to make rational decisions without prejudice. What's worse, Prosser's public statements indicate no ability whatsoever to take responsibility for his own actions. It's a very revealing episode, and frankly there is no defending it.”|head

Respected former Governor Patrick Lucey echoed similar concerns yesterday saying that Prosser has exhibited a “disturbing distemper and lack of civility that does not bode well for the High Court.” Governor Lucey Press Release, March 31, 2011. Lucey appointed Shirley Abrahamson to the Supreme Court in 1976, making her Wisconsin's first female justice.

“Sexist slurs and threats have no place on our state’s highest court. We expect our Supreme Court justices to have the highest level of ethics and integrity. This episode, along with a lengthy history of erratic behavior by Justice Prosser is not only disturbing, but raises questions about his ability to rationally and impartially decide cases as a member of the Court”, said Greater Wisconsin Committee Executive Director Michelle McGrorty

The commercial by the Greater Wisconsin Committee asks the public to call Justice Prosser to tell him that sexist slurs and threats of retribution have no place in the state’s highest courts. McGrorty declined to say how much the group was spending on the ad, but said it is running statewide starting today. This ad continues a long series of efforts over the past four years by GWC to educate the public about key issues regarding judicial ethics.



April 1, 2011 - 1:46pm