In the story linked here, you can read about the controversy between a liberal, female justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court who says that a conservative, male justice attempted to choke her, and the male justice, who claims she attacked him. There is more outrageous behavior described as well, including threats, and epithets like “bitch” being used.
I don’t care who did what, or what the facts are.
The conduct of the whole Wisconsin Supreme Court is a disgrace. There could not be effective leadership or proper professional standards on the court if this sort of uncivil, unprofessional, unethical nonsense could occur, even once, and even if it only involved two judges directly. All the justices are at fault. The Chief Justice, Shirley Abrahamson, obviously has not done her job, for it is her job to keep her court functional, ethical and professional.. Since she has not, the other justices were obligated to address the kind of poisonous, uncivil, disrespectful environment that could spark a physical confrontation. They failed their duties as well.
For the state’s highest court to behave in such a juvenile, disgraceful fashion—whatever happened, and whoever was at fault—embarrasses Wisconsin, the legal system, the judicial profession, and the nation. Every single justice on the court failed his or her ethical duty, because with competent, diligent, serious attention to the professional duties of the judiciary, justices do not start attacking each other. This cannot and must not be tolerated, or treated as a mere dispute between individuals.
It won’t happen, of course, but if addressing the matter were left to me, all the justices would be asked to resign, and a new group elected, perhaps with the added requirement of a pledge to treat the legal system with respect by treating each other with respect….and insisting that their colleagues do so as well.