Wisconsin justice says reports of clash false

AP News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2011 1:50 AM
Wisconsin justice says reports of clash false

A Wisconsin Supreme Court justice said Saturday that reports he placed his hands around a fellow justice's neck during an argument in her office are false.

Justice David Prosser told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the allegations involving him and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley "will be proven false" once a "proper review of the matter and the facts surrounding it are made clear."

Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, quoting anonymous sources, reported Saturday that the alleged altercation occurred before the Supreme Court's decision earlier this month upholding Republican Gov. Scott Walker's bill to curtail public employees' collective bargaining rights.

Messages that The Associated Press left with several of the justices and Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs were not returned Saturday.

A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision that included a blistering dissent, ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi overstepped her authority when she declared the polarizing union law void.

The fight over passage of Walker's collective bargaining bill came in the weeks leading up to a hotly contested state Supreme Court election, which conservative incumbent Prosser eventually won after challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg conceded defeat in late May. Supporters of Walker largely backed Prosser in hopes he would uphold the union rights bill in a legal challenge.