Walker’s Top Crony on High Court’s Latest Conflict

Bradley’s Ties to Walker, Walker Campaign Chair Show Most Conflicted Judge on Court Doesn’t Care about Equal Justice Under Law

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MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker’s new crony pick for the state high court has multiple conflicts and ought recuse from hearing a case before the Supreme Court regarding Walker’s attempted education power grab, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Rebecca Bradley, who Walker has appointed to three successive courts, including the state’s top court, has refused to recuse herself from the case, Coyne v. Walker, despite the glaring conflict of interest.

“Rebecca Bradley is rife with conflicts in this case,” said Ross. “No reasonable person would think a judge who’s been appointed to judgeship three times by a party in the case could sit on the case fairly. Rebecca Bradley is the poster child for cronyism on the conservative court.”

Not only does the case involve expanding the powers of the office of Gov. Walker, who just weeks ago elevated her to the high court with a controversial court appointment, but an attorney, Rick Esenberg, arguing before the court in favor of the Walker power grab, wrote a recommendation for Bradley’s first Walker judicial appointment to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, none of which was disclosed during the hearing.

In addition, a number of the organizations on whose behalf Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty head Esenberg is arguing are the recipients of significant funding by the Bradley Foundation, overseen by Michael Grebe, Walker’s longtime campaign chair. Esenberg’s group in particular has received a vast majority of its funding from the Bradley Foundation since its creation a few years ago. In her 2013 election campaign to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Grebe also served as Bradley’s campaign chair.

“How can the people of Wisconsin trust Rebecca Bradley will be fair and impartial in hearing this case with her close personal connections to parties intimately involved in arguing the case and potentially benefiting from its outcome?” Ross asked.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.