Justice Says Calling His Colleague A "Total Bitch" Was "Warranted"

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is drawing fire for calling Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson (pictured, with Gov. Scott Walker) a "total bitch." His defense: she is one.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Prosser told Abrahamson, "you are a total bitch," when he felt she was trying to "undermine him politically." He apparently added "I will destroy you," and "it won't be a ground war." This last is a bit confusing — was he planning to fly through the air and drop bombs on the Chief Justice? Whatever the case, Prosser says he was totally justified:

I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted. . . . They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing.

The court certainly appears to be mired in squabbling. Prosser isn't just mad about Abrahamson's alleged bitchitude — he's also mad that Justice Bradley emailed a bunch of people telling them that he called Abrahamson a bitch. He says, "There is not the slightest doubt that Ann [Bradley] wrote that e-mail to hurt me in this campaign." The campaign, between the conservative Prosser and liberal opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg, has become big news because of the high-profile labor disputes in Wisconsin — according to Talking Points Memo, the court election is "a proxy political battle over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's new anti-public employee union law."

As The Raw Story points out, Prosser has a "spotted" record when it comes to women's rights — he once claimed that teens would lie about rape just to be able to get an abortion. Back when he was a DA, he also refused to prosecute a priest accused of molesting kids because, in the words of one victim, "he (Prosser) said it would be too embarrassing for a kid my age and said what jury would believe a kid testifying against a priest?" These situations notwithstanding, Abrahamson and Prosser clearly have a long history of conflict, and he may have had good reason to be mad. But anger isn't an excuse for name-calling — and I'm pretty sure that when you get caught calling your colleague a bitch, "she started it" isn't the best defense.

Supreme Court Tensions Boil Over [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
Wis. Justice Prosser: I Called Chief Justice A 'Bitch,' 'But I Think It Was Entirely Warranted' [Talking Points Memo]
WI Justice Admits He Called Female Colleague A ‘Bitch,' Threatened To ‘Destroy' Her [The Raw Story]