March 10, 2016

Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483

Rebecca Bradley Opined It’s OK to Lie in Column on Judicial Ethics

State Supreme Court Justice ‘Simply Cannot be Trusted’

MADISON, Wis. — Justice Rebecca Bradley declared in a 2008 article, co-authored with three fellow attorneys, that judges could lie in their campaigns and benefit from misleading attack ads impugning the integrity of their opponents. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted the position Bradley took on judicial ethics and said it called into question her recent efforts to distance herself from the controversy over the vile and hateful views she expressed in other articles she wrote.

“How can you trust the sincerity of someone who says lying is okay?” asked Ross. “Rebecca Bradley put it in writing that it is fair game for a candidate for a judicial seat, like herself, to do or say anything to try to win an election.”

Bradley’s column was in response to the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee effort at the time to keep candidates from producing, or benefitting from others, misleading and underhanded campaign advertising. Just weeks after the article was published, then-Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman ran an outrageously racist and misleading television ad against his opponent, resulting in ethics charges that he violated the Judicial Code of Conduct with his actions.

Ross noted that Bradley’s earlier sentiments on judicial ethics are especially pertinent today as she attempts to distance herself from a series of hateful and venomous attacks on gay people and people living with HIV, declaring voters who supported President Clinton were, “either totally stupid or entirely evil” and equating abortion with slavery and the holocaust. Most recently Bradley refused to immediately denounce her writing that author Camille Paglia, “legitimately suggested that women play a role in date rape.”

In her damage control efforts, Bradley is also attempting to distance herself from Gov. Scott Walker and disavow anyone had information about the repugnant views before any of the series of judicial appointments she received. Besides the unprecedented three appointments in just three years, as reported by the Associated Press, she and the governor have been closely tied for years, including living in the same neighborhood for a decade.

Ross concluded, “Rebecca Bradley simply cannot be trusted — not when she’s trying to excuse her hateful speech and extreme views, not when she’s trying to distance herself from Gov. Walker and her partisanship and not when she claims she can serve fairly and impartially for a minute more on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.”