Four Questions for Rebecca Bradley
Justice Bradley's written opinions raise legal questions voters should ask, she should address.
Wisconsin voters face a serious decision April 5 for state Supreme Court. They’ll pick a candidate who, for the next 10 years, will fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Patrick Crooks.
Rebecca Bradley was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker to sit on the court as the election takes place. Recently, some of her non-judicial written opinions became public. Before voting, the people of Wisconsin should ask her these questions:
1. In 2006, when you had been a practicing lawyer for over 10 years, you supported legislation that would have allowed any pharmacist in Wisconsin to refuse to fill a woman’s prescription for oral contraceptives, writing that:
“Pharmacists have been fired and disciplined for exercising the belief, which can be scientifically supported, that contraceptives may cause the death of a conceived, unborn child by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.”
Prior to writing that, were you aware that an article published by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists made the following statement?
“An extensive review of pertinent scientific writings indicates that there is no credible evidence to validate a mechanism of pre-implantation abortion as a part of the action of hormone contraceptives.”
2. Also, as part of your written statement about the pharmacist legislation you said that:
“A bill has been introduced in Wisconsin to protect pharmacists from employment discrimination and disciplinary action based upon their refusal to dispense [contraceptives]. Proponents of “choice” oppose such conscience clauses because they interfere with the elevation of women’s convenience over pharmacists’ objections to being a party to murder.”
As a lawyer in 2006, you would have known that for a pharmacist to be a “party” to murder by dispensing contraceptives to women, the women using the contraceptives must have been committing murder by doing so. Do you consider women who take oral contraceptives to be murderers?
3. After recently being confronted with your 1992 writings in which you called people with AIDS “degenerate” and gay people “queers” you said:
“To those offended by comments I made as a young college student, I apologize, and assure you that those comments are not reflective of my worldview.”
Can you please point to one thing that you have publicly said or written since 1992, other than your apology on March 7, 2016, that supports your statement that you no longer hold the views that you expressed then?
4. Also, in 1992 you said this about those who voted for Bill Clinton in the 1992 election:
“We’ve just had an election which proves that the majority of voters are either totally stupid or entirely evil.”
Rebecca Bradley’s answer to these four questions are vital to the voting public’s ability to evaluate whether she can, in fact, sit as a fair and neutral justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. If she refuses to answer these questions or tries to deflect them that will raise serious questions about her character and fitness to serve on the court.
Lester Pines is a senior partner in the law firm of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach.