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Rebecca Bradley Doesn’t Deserve to Sit on the Supreme Court

Mar. 8, 2016
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Ethically challenged Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley—a three-time Gov. Scott Walker appointee now seeking a 10-year term on the bench—has shown yet again that she doesn’t deserve to sit on the state’s highest court. 

On Monday, the watchdog group One Wisconsin Now revealed essays Bradley published when she was a student at Marquette University in which she referred to gay people as “queers” and “degenerates who basically commit suicide through their behavior” and denounced an LGBT-friendly student government committee as “bring[ing] legitimacy to an abnormal sexual preference.” And showing a shocking lack of sensitivity for those living with HIV, Bradley—then known as Rebecca Grassl—wrote, “The homosexuals and drug addicts who do essentially kill themselves and others through their own behavior deservedly receive none of my sympathy.”

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin weighed in, saying, “These hateful and divisive writings raise serious questions about Rebecca Bradley’s fitness to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court as a fair, impartial and independent justice.”

Bradley apologized on Monday, but her hollow words are totally meaningless.

If this were an isolated lapse in judgment, a fiery op-ed written by an immature college student, we could overlook it. 

But Rebecca Bradley has developed a pattern of ethical lapses and shocking displays of extremism while furthering her career. Just two weeks ago, she left oral arguments to speak to the conservative business lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, where she pledged, “I am your public servant.” Of course, conservative dark-money groups are backing her rise to power with an estimated $1 million in ads in the primary election alone.

And in 2006, Bradley, then a corporate attorney, wrote an op-ed in which she supported a fringe view that equates birth control with abortion and advocated for a conscience clause for pharmacists who sought to deny doctor-prescribed contraception for women.

No wonder why Scott Walker has promoted her three times in three years—Rebecca Bradley is as radically right-wing as he is.

We agree with One Wisconsin Now that Rebecca Bradley needs to resign as soon as possible before she does more damage to the great state of Wisconsin. If that doesn’t happen, voters can end her tarnished tenure on the state Supreme Court by voting for Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg on April 5. In contrast to Bradley, Kloppenburg has earned the position through hard work, not through political cronyism, hatred and intolerance.


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