On July 5, Mike Gableman, who is a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, told investigators with the Dane County Sheriff's Office that a colleague, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, hit him on the back of the head.
More recently Gableman upgraded the circumstances of the alleged battery to "struck" — "Justice Bradley struck me," Gableman declared in a press release yesterday. Initially Gableman affirmed to detectives that Bradley did so on September 18, 2008, his birthday, and weeks after his installation on the court. After it was determined that it was impossible for such an event to have taken place, Gableman moved the battery forward one year, to 2009, claiming now to be "uncertain" of the date.
Three justices, including Bradley, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, and Justice Patrick Crooks, have essentially accused Gableman of lying. They all say the incident never happened. A fifth justice, Annette Ziegler, says she didn't know anything about the incident until Gableman told her his tale. The remaining two justices, Prosser and Roggensack, have been understandably mum. If they affirm Gableman's story, then by extension they become parties to the lie that Mike Gableman stands accused of.
Gableman says all seven justices were present on September 18, 2009.
When Justice Bradley accused Justice Prosser of having her in a "choke hold" — and Prosser did confess to having both hands around her neck — the matter spurred a criminal investigation, although the appointed special prosecutor declined to pursue charges. In the meantime, a separate investigation by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission is ongoing.
This blog has certainly never been a fan of Mike Gableman, ever since he began misrepresenting the law back in December, 2007, in furtherance of his nakedly partisan political ambitions. In fact this blog has found Gableman's behavior to be reprehensible. But if there needed to be a criminal investigation into Justice Bradley's allegations, then there needs to be a similar investigation into Gableman's. And obviously the Judicial Commission, which monitors judicial ethics, must likewise investigate.
Because somebody is lying. The Supreme Court is tasked with the enforcement of the legal profession's code of ethical conduct. Its members should be setting the example, and not undermining it.