Wisconsin Supreme Court

When we last checked in with the justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, one justice stood accused of allegedly choking a bitch in chambers (no, not the “total bitch” that he had previously threatened to “destroy” — another one). Although the kerfuffle did not result in any criminal charges, it seems that Justice David Prosser isn’t as charismatic as Wayne Brady, because now he’s facing possible ethics sanctions over the two incidents.

What did the outspoken justice have to say about the request for sanctions?

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* Has anybody considered pouring a Chernobyl-like sarcophagus over the Wisconsin Supreme Court? [WSJ Law Blog]

* If Mark Zuckerberg ever tries to sue Kash for stalking him, I’m sure a bunch of ATL readers will offer to defend her. [Not So Private Parts / Forbes]

* Intelligent design my ass. An intelligent creator wouldn’t have put genitalia on the outside where it could get chopped off by an angry spouse one’s trying to divorce. [Radar Online]

* This week’s Round Tuit perfectly sums up the Casey Anthony situation by finding the perfect picture of an outraged Nancy Grace. [Infamy or Praise]

* When legal historians attack: Gordon Wood v. Alison LaCroix. [University of Chicago Law School via Brian Leiter]

* It looks like this gay couple got a two year lease on love. [Stop the Deportations]

* Did you know that Above the Law has its very own LinkedIn group? You should join! [LinkedIn]

In March, we ran a story about how the justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court had basically devolved into caricatures of themselves worthy of MTV reality show fame.

Apparently, in the midst of a heated debate, Justice David Prosser fell into the role of the hothead. He called a female justice a “bitch” “total bitch,” and threatened to “destroy” her. I guess this is what happens when members of the judiciary stop being polite, and start getting real –- The Real Prize World.

Anyway, you know what usually happens on the next episode of the show. We find out that the hothead isn’t just abusive with his words, but also with his fists. And that is exactly what allegedly happened earlier this month behind closed doors.

Did Prosser need to choke a bitch?

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Malori Wampler

* I might have stopped smoking, but I’ll never stop fighting against Mike Bloomberg’s nanny state laws that seek to turn New York City into a place that doesn’t tempt Mike Bloomberg into doing all the things he used to do. [CNN]

* Tyler Clementi’s former roommate, Dharun Ravi, pleaded not guilty to a bunch of things he wouldn’t have been charged with if Clementi hadn’t committed suicide. [Gothamist]

* Justice David Prosser officially won his judicial reelection in Wisconsin. [WSJ Law Blog]

* An ex-Indianapolis Colts cheerleader is suing the team because they fired her for posing in “risqué” photographs. Wait, back up a sec. A woman whose job it is to bounce up and down in a bikini while drunk men watch got fired from that job for being risqué? [Overlawyered]

* A higher-education bubble update, from Professor Glenn Reynolds: “if you’re paying full tuition, you’re basically a sucker.” [Instapundit]

* Hmm, I wonder which state will want all of the business that flees Tennessee if the governor signs a new anti-gay bill into law? I expect that most states only care about what people put in their bank account, not where they put it in their bedrooms. [Huffington Post]

* Today’s update on the foreign guy who had sex with that maid and is now in a bunch of trouble. Wait, that sentence wasn’t specific enough…. [ABA Journal]

* Blawg Review fires up one day after world goth day, which itself was one day after fake Rapture day. And we all know that fake Rapture day was just seven months prior to the end of the world. Though if it keeps raining like this, I don’t think we’ll make it that far without some kind of ark technology. [Siouxsie Law via Blawg Review]

Justice Barbara Lenk

* On the same day that Lady Kaga wrote her first dissent, Governor Deval Patrick nominated Barbara Lenk, an openly gay woman, to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Big week for… uhh, female judges. [New York Times]

* The prosecution in the Barry Bonds case rested their case yesterday, and the judge is considering throwing out previous testimony about Bonds’s shrunken testicles. National League something something small ball. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* This mob lawyer was allegedly just a mob mobster. [New York Law Journal]

* Fordham Law School hosted a conference on Bob Dylan and the law, featuring “law professors, a Dylan historian, a disc jockey and a guitar player.” Then she opened a book of poems and handed it to me. Written by an Italian jurist from the 20th century. And every one of Scalia’s words rang true and glowed like burning coal. [City Room / New York Times]

* White O’Connor, the Hollywood entertainment-law firm, is merging with “NYC white-shoe powerhouse” Kelley Drye. [Deadline.com]

* A mother has sued the Chicago public school system and her daughter’s teacher after the teacher posted the daughter’s picture on Facebook and mocked her hairstyle. The hairstyle featured an assortment of Jolly Ranchers. Sweet. [ABA Journal]

* The people of Wisconsin have spoken! And as of this morning, it’s still not entirely clear what they’re saying. The race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat is too close to call. [Politico]

If you see this sign, turn in the opposite direction and START RUNNING.

We’ve spent a lot time covering Wisconsin’s dysfunctional state legislature. But did you know the state’s judicial branch is just as messed up?

We’ve discussed this before, but now there’s more to report. You know any semblance of bipartisan civility has broken down when one justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court calls the chief justice a “bitch” and vows to “destroy” her.

That would be shocking language if it was bandied about in a courthouse in the Bronx, but it’s just another day of state politics in Wisconsin. I’m telling you, we’re going to have to station the USS Inside Voices Please in the Great Lakes to chill this state out…

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Back in February 2009, we named the Honorable Joseph Wall a Judge of the Day. Joe Wall, at the time a Wisconsin trial court judge, used the term “baby mama” at the sentencing of an African-American defendant. He also made additional amusing quips — e.g., suggesting that “baby mamas” congregate at “a club” to find their unemployed, wastrel boyfriends.

An appeals court, finding Judge Wall’s comments to be inappropriate, held that the defendant was entitled to a new trial. But now the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reversed the appeals court, in a unanimous decision — a rarity on that utterly dysfunctional famously fractured court.

So, what did the Wisconsin court conclude?

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The Wisconsin State Supreme Court

There’s a simple rule in Wisconsin regarding judicial elections. You can’t make a campaign ad that knowingly misrepresents your opponent. While you’d imagine that reasonable people might disagree about what constitutes misrepresentation, one expects that judges wouldn’t really get anywhere close to the line.

But not so in the election between Justice Michael Gableman and Louis Butler. Gabelman made a controversial ad and won the election, and then all hell broke loose. People argued he violated judicial codes of conduct, it went to the State Supreme Court, Gabelman had to recuse himself, and then the court split 3 -3 and issued two different decisions. So, you know, all the trappings of anarchy.

Of course race is involved. Because people don’t generally lose their minds and start acting like idiots in this country unless race is involved somehow…

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