Women's rights groups and women lawmakers from the city of Madison, Dane County and state Legislature are calling on Justice David Prosser to take a leave from the Supreme Court while an investigation proceeds into allegations that he physically assaulted Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during an argument.
"As a member of the highest court in Wisconsin, Justice Prosser sits in a position of high trust," Lisa Subeck, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin and a member of the Madison City Council, said in a news release Tuesday. "No individual is above the law, especially an elected official sworn to uphold the very laws he is accused of breaking."
Joining Subeck in calling for Prosser to take a leave from office are: Madison City Council President Lauren Cnare and President Pro-Tem Shiva Bidar Sielaff; Dane County Board supervisors Sharon Corrigan, Analiese Eicher, Carousel Bayrd and Dianne Hesselbein; Madison School District Board Vice-President Marj Passman and school board member Arlene Silveira; Milwaukee school board member Meagan Holman; the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Wisconsin NOW, among others.
Why not wait until after the investigation is complete?
"Somebody who has been potentially victimized in the workplace certainly deserves to be safe and not in the same workplace working alongside the person accused of assaulting them," says Subeck. Subeck also says that most other employees – whether they be police officers or teachers – would likely be put on leave once these kinds of serious allegations were made.
"We're not calling for him to resign," says Subeck. "We feel he should hold himself to the same standards that we would hold any other employee to."
And why not call on Bradley to also take a leave pending the results of the investigation?
"Serious accusations of assault have been made against David Prosser," Subeck says. "The same serious allegations have not been made against Justice Bradley.