Progressives launch ad against WI justice who called colleague a ‘bitch’

By David Edwards
Friday, March 25, 2011 15:36 EDT
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The Wisconsin Supreme Court justice that recently admitted to calling a female colleague a “bitch” now has another problem.

Progressives in the state have launched an ad campaign against Justice David Prosser, suggesting that he’s on the side of child molesters.

While District Attorney of Outagamie County in 1979, Prosser had refused to prosecute a priest that had allegedly sexually abused two children.

“I was ready to take the stand,” Troy Merryfield, one of the abused children, told the Mulwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel years later. “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?”

“A priest sexually abuses children for 30 years across Wisconsin,” the ad begins. “A mother tells tell D.A. David Prosser her two young sons were sexually assaulted.”

“What does Prosser do?” the ad asks.

“Prosser refuses to prosecute. He doesn’t even ask the police to investigate. Instead, Prosser meets with the bishop. To avoid scandal, they send the priest to another community and the assaults continue,” the spot adds.

“Tell David Prosser judges should protect our children, not sex offenders.”

The ad is just the lastest problem for Prosser, who last week admitted to calling Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson “a total bitch.”

The spotlight got brighter after a Wisconsin appeals court requested that the state Supreme Court take up the issue of whether a conference committee had illegally advanced Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union bill by violating the state’s open meetings law.

Prossner has been attacked by his opponents for promising to be a “complement” to Walker if re-elected.

“Our campaign efforts will include building an organization that will return Justice Prosser to the bench, protecting the conservative judicial majority and acting as a common sense complement to both the new administration and Legislature,” a news release by the Prosser campaign said.

“For a sitting judge to promise that he will work to further the ends of the other two branches of government shows an enormous disregard for the separation of powers and the role of the court as an independent, impartial body that ought to promise just one thing: to decide cases on the law and the facts brought forth in those cases,” Prosser opponent Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg said in a statement.

“This race is about returning independence and impartiality to the court,” she wrote in an op-ed for Madison.com. “It’s about electing justices who haven’t prejudged cases and who see the judiciary as a co-equal branch of government and a check and balance against overreaching by the executive and legislative branches, not as a ‘complement’ to their political agenda.”

This video is from the Greater Wisconsin Committee, uploaded to YouTube March 23, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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