Supreme Court Justice David Prosser says he is "about 100%" sure that Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting budget review bill will come before his court -- and while not coming out and saying how he'd rule (wink, wink), he's telling Republicans they should support him because his opponent would rule against Walker.
In a video interview for the Dane County Republican Party, Prosser, a former GOP legislator, also warns that redistricting is likely to come before the court, and he and his conservative colleagues "don't want any part of legislative redistricting."
This is the same guy whose campaign said he wants to "complement" the work of Walker and the GOP legislature, because his views "closely mirror" Walker's.
From the interview:
HOST: Okay. Right now we’re facing huge protests against the budget repair bill here in Wisconsin which is setting quite a precedent in the country. What are the chances that that would go to the Supreme Court, that bill.
PROSSER: I would say about 100 percent.
PROSSER: I would think that there’s going to be champ—I’m sure there’s going to be litigation on the Court and in fact, I think part of the effort against me in the campaign is to replace me on the Court in the event this bill and other legislation passed by the new governor and legislature are litigated. I think that they want someone on the Court who will be an almost automatic vote against anything that comes out of the new legislature.
HOST: Is that right?
PROSSER: Oh, yes. I think that there’s no question at all as I’ve talked to people that part of the motivation for the candidates running against me is to have a block of four people who will reapportion the legislature along more liberal lines whereas the conservative members of the Court don’t want any part of legislative redistricting.
Prosser, of course, has no idea what the grounds for a redistricting case might be, he seems to be prejudging any redistricting case that might be brought before the court, regardless of the merits. He wants to leave it up to the Republican governor and the Republican legislature. No need for that third branch of government to get involved, is there?
Back to the interview, where Prosser tries to cover his tracks at the end:
HOST: Because we need you on the court, we need you.
PROSSER: Well, I appreciate that.
HOST: I mean, well, it’s a fact especially if this budget repair bill as you say definitely going to be coming out on the Supreme Court for a vote.
PROSSER: Wha—you’re question to me was did I think it was going to be litigated. I am certain it is going to be litigated. I don’t want to take the position that I prejudged anything that is going to be litigated. No, I’m not saying I’m committed one way or the other but if I had to bet whether the bill would be litigated, I’d put a lot of money on that.
And he'd put a lot of money on the fact that the Republicans would like his position a lot better than his opponent's, Joanne Kloppenburg. And he's not saying how he'd rule? If anyone can't figure it out after watching the interview, let me know.
Prosser is a frequent practitioner of the wink and a nod school of campaigning. Here's an excerpt from an interview he did with Northwoods Patriot Radio (sort of like the League of Women Voters, only different):
STEVE: It is for sure and another thing that I’d like to point out that’s quite interesting, in the upcoming race for Supreme Court is that Justice Prosser is a pro-life candidate and the three opponents that he’s running against are not pro-life, so … I take it, Justice Prosser, that you hold life dearly and you believe that that is not something that is not to be messed with.
PROSSER: Well, Steve, I have to be very careful what I say because I cannot commit myself, I, as a judge …
STEVE: I understand.
PROSSER: In deciding a case in a particular way. On the other hand, people can look at what I’ve done over a lifetime and kind of read between the lines.