|Gov. Scott Walker took the state Supreme Court justices to task Monday, saying their infighting has to end for the sake of public confidence in the court. His comments came after a liberal member of the court accused a conservative justice of putting her in a chokehold — a charge he has denied.
Speaking on WTMJ radio, Walker said that regardless of a person's political beliefs, "there's got to be confidence that the people on the court can rationally discuss and debate" issues.
Justice Ann Walsh Bradley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Justice David Prosser tried to choke her during an argument in her office on June 13, the day before the court handed down a decision upholding a new law eliminating most public employees' collective bargaining rights. Walker had pushed the polarizing proposal, saying state and local officials needed more flexibility to deal with the state's deficit and coming budget cuts.
Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney said in a statement Monday that his office has opened an investigation into the incident at the request of Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs, who had jurisdiction because the argument took place in the state Capitol.
Tubbs said in a statement he asked the sheriff to handle the matter after consulting with "members of the Supreme Court." He did not elaborate, and a spokeswoman for the agency that oversees the Capitol Police didn't immediately respond to a message.