Following an impressive victory over far-right former Justice Dan Kelly earlier this year, Justice Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in as the newest member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on August 1, giving the court a progressive majority for the first time since 2008. Protasiewicz joined the court, a lot happened: Liberals fired the director of the state court system, a former judge and Supreme Court nominee who holds some extreme social views; moved to adopt new rules for internal court administration; And agreed to a trial On the constitutionality of the state’s unmandated legislative districts.
Republicans in Wisconsin haven’t taken it too well. In the lead up to the election of Protasiewicz—First She was already elected—Republican lawmakers started tossing around The idea of impeaching him…something has to be decided. But the discussion languished until recently, when Assembly Speaker Robin Vos arrived. revived the idea,
The court’s two conservatives, Chief Justice Annette Ziegler and Associate Justice Rebecca Bradley, also haven’t handled the changes on the court very well. Early moves by the Liberals limit Ziegler’s powers as Chief Justice she has accused It’s An Abuse Of Power That Violates The Wisconsin Constitution — Though She’s Hesitating On It What Constitutional provision, of course. Still, that hasn’t stopped her press release And op-ed writing Describing the erosion of his power as somehow unconstitutional, he condemned it.
However, Bradley’s response has been far more furious. He has used journalists’ comments, tweets and even official court opinions to launch unfounded attacks on the legitimacy of the majority’s actions – something he has criticized for favoritism and prejudice that reflect. his own Prejudice and Prejudice.
From day one of the Supreme Court’s new liberal majority, Bradley’s main criticism has been that its members are too partisan and partisan. He criticized his fellow judges As in “political juggernaut” and “politician in robes”, not “jurist”. He debated on twitter His sacking of the director of state courts was a “[p]political correctness Court employees” – a statement he made while retweeting one of the state’s most prominent right-wing commentators.
And this week, when the Supreme Court allowed a case challenging the state’s unmandated state legislative districts to move forward, Bradley dissented in furious fashion. he accused that the majority had agreed to hear the case—which included not only liberal but also fellow conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn in the case—as part of a plan to “transfer power away from Republicans and provide an electoral advantage for Democrat candidates”. in the form of. his screw even posted a favorite slur Republican partisans, referring to the “Democrat Party”.
But this is nothing new for Bradley.
Bradley was first appointed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court by former Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2012 won re-election In 2013 – in a great irony – defeating his future colleague Protasiewicz on the Supreme Court. walker lifted him up in the Court of Appeal in 2015, and then in the Supreme Court later that same year. She was re-elected in 2016 to a 10-year term against another familiar name: Joan Kloppenberg, who was narrowly defeated in the state’s 2011 Supreme Court election.
During Bradley’s 2016 campaign against Cloppenberg, several of his old articles for his college newspaper surfaced, revealing some deeply intolerant views. In 1992, during the height of the AIDS crisis, bradley wrote Homosexuals “essentially kill themselves and others with their behavior.”
He also criticized the attention AIDS received over diseases such as cancer, writing, “How sad that the lives of drug addicts and promiscuous people are given more importance than those of innocent victims of more prevalent diseases,” and that Attacked people who were comfortable with homosexuality. Fallen people who commit suicide basically because of their behavior.” He abortion is called It is “the holocaust of our children” and he said he found it “inconceivable” that anyone could “claim the right to murder their own flesh and blood.”
Bradley tried to distance myself From those comments during his 2016 campaign, claiming that his views on homosexuality have changed. However, she declined to say whether she still believes abortion is a “holocaust” and that the right to obtain an abortion equates to the right to “kill”, as the issue may come up before the Supreme Court. She also declined to say whether she would recuse herself from the abortion case.
He beat Kloppenberg by a narrow margin And will next face the voters of Wisconsin in April 2026.
During his tenure at the court, he quickly distinguished himself with a unique brand of far-right jurisprudence. He compared Governor Tony Evers’ lockdown orders during the peak of the pandemic to Japanese internment during World War II and more recently tried to whitewash His Wikipedia page to remove his most offensive comments. She justified these self-editings in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel because, she claimed, “The liberal media has distorted my record since the beginning of my judicial career, and I refuse to let false accusations go unchecked. “
In an ordinary routine appeal from a criminal conviction for murder, he wrote a long disagreement Criticizing the trial judge for not mentioning the defendant’s gun ownership. ,[H]’Oplophobia’ is an ‘irrational fear of guns,'” she explained, and alleged that “the sentencing judge’s hoplophobia was on full display” in the case.
In a case in which the use of drop boxes to collect absentee mail ballots was prohibited compared their use For the manipulation of democracy by Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-un, Raul Castro and Bashar al-Assad.
Since Protasiewicz’s victory earlier this year, and as the reality of serving minorities dawns, Bradley has ramped up his rhetoric. in June, he reprimanded Hagedorn In extremely harsh words, he wrote that he should “reconsider the judicial oath and resign if unwilling to fulfill it.” Hagedorn’s crime? He sided with the liberals and did not allow a lawsuit from parents challenging the Madison School District’s trans-friendly policies to skip the state’s normal appeals process.
In July, the Supreme Court denied the Wisconsin State Bar’s request to allow attorneys to receive “diversity, equality, inclusion and access” credits. bradley wrote a long agreed opinion Which has to be read to be believed.
They begin by arguing that buzzwords such as “diversity, equality, inclusion and access” (DEIA) represent a hazy veil for a divisive political agenda that dangerously confines people to racial categories and Takes away their unique personality.” Echoing far-right rhetoric, he argued that such concepts are “dangerous identity politics disguised” and dismissed diversity training as “whimsical corporate nonsense”. As support for his argument, Bradley actually relied on a 2014 book written by far-right commentator Ben Shapiro titled “How to Debate and Destroy the Left: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument.”
For someone with this record to accuse someone else of bias or prejudice is a stunning display of projection and a complete lack of self-awareness. From editing your own Wikipedia page to remove your insensitive comments because the “liberal media” allegedly “distorted your record” to criticizing your colleagues as “politicians in robes” It takes some courage to do so.
But Bradley can accuse the majority of whatever he wants. After more than a decade in the woods, Wisconsin finally has a Supreme Court with a progressive majority — with one undeniable democratic legitimacy, Bradley will likely be losing out on the most controversial cases for the next few years — and if she continues to oppose fellow conservative Hagedorn, she may find support at least in her positions. And in 2026, when Bradley next goes before the voters, he will have to deal with the consequences of his record.