Assembly Democrats are stepping up their attacks on Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley over her inflammatory writings about LGBT people and feminists.
The writings were uncovered by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now just weeks before she faces challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg at the polls on April 5 to retain her interim position on the state’s highest court. She was appointed to the position by Gov. Scott Walker, who's named her to all the judicial positions she's ever held, beginning in 2012.
Last week, state Reps. Lisa Subeck and Chris Taylor called upon Bradley to resign over her writings blaming victims of sexual assault and equating the use of birth control with murder.
“Rebecca Bradley’s extreme and hate-filled beliefs make her unfit to serve on our state’s highest court, Rep. Subeck said in a statement. “From calling members of the LGBTQ community ‘degenerates’ and ‘queers’ to believing that women play a role in date rape, this is a person who has extreme biases, unacceptable in a justice who is supposed to embrace fairness and neutrality.’
For 11 days, Taylor tweeted Bradley asking for an apology to rape and incest victims. Bradley has yet to respond, according to Taylor’s office.
“Justice Bradley believes that pharmacists should be able to impose their personal beliefs on women by refusing to fill birth control prescriptions,” Taylor said in the same statement. “It is frightening to consider Justice Bradley inserting her extreme beliefs into what should be an independent and fair state Supreme Court. … “Justice Rebecca Bradley's beliefs are dangerous to the health and lives of Wisconsin women.”
Also last week, Rep. Mark Spreitzer announced his support for an effort by Fair Wisconsin and LGBT leaders, including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, to expose the funders of the right-wing PAC Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, which is running commercials for Bradley. The group’s website was registered by Lorri Pickens, who led the campaign against marriage equality in 2006.
WFA has “poured $2 million into ads for Rebecca Bradley’s campaign to fill the Wisconsin Supreme Court vacancy and plans to spend at least $3 million before the April 5 election,” according to a statement from Spreitzer’s office.
“As an LGBT leader and strong supporter of equality, I have been deeply disturbed by the vitriolic anti-gay statements that Rebecca Bradley has made,” Spreitzer said in a statement from his office. “It is even more disturbing to learn that she is benefiting from millions of dollars in campaign spending from a group with ties to leading anti-equality activists and the anti-LGBT group Wisconsin Family Action. During Sunshine Week in Wisconsin, I wholeheartedly support Fair Wisconsin’s efforts to expose the funders of this group, as transparency is the only way to root out the dark money that supports anti-equality rhetoric."
“I’d like to think many of the people funding Rebecca Bradley’s campaign don’t support her homophobic statements, but if they are contributing to the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, I think their money will speak for itself,” Spreitzer added. “Our now-gutted campaign finance laws allow these secret groups to dump millions into our elections without disclosing who they really are. …. Any individual, business or organization that donates to this group should be exposed so the public knows where they stand and what kind of rhetoric they are funding.”