When Bill Clinton and Al Gore won the presidential election in 1992, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley - then a student at Marquette University - made her feelings known very clearly.
And those feelings were deeply seated in hate, bigotry and homophobia.
The advocacy group One Wisconsin Now found her writings and brought them to the light of day. One of the many hate-filled rants from Bradley was this:
Bradley also wrote things like:
"homosexuals and drug addicts who do essentially kill themselves and others through their own behavior deservedly receive none of my sympathy."
"We have now elected a tree-hugging, baby-killing, pot-smoking, flag-burning, queer-loving, bull-spouting '60s radical socialist adulterer to the highest office in our nation," Bradley wrote of Clinton's election. "Doesn't it make you proud to be an American? We've just had an election which proves the majority of voters are either totally stupid or entirely evil."
You can see the entire article here.
Bradley offered a half-hearted apology but was quick to blame OWN for her words and her hatred:
“Recently an article I wrote while a college student at Marquette 24 years ago has surfaced on left leaning blogs and now the mainstream press. I was writing as a very young student, upset about the outcome of that presidential election and I am frankly embarrassed at the content and tone of what I wrote those many years ago.
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. These comments have nothing to do with who I am as a person or a jurist, and they have nothing to do with the issues facing the voters of this state.
This is a blatant mudslinging campaign to distract the people from the issues at hand. This election is about diametrically opposed judicial philosophies. I have run a positive campaign focused on the rule of law and strict adherence to the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions. I am proud of the twenty plus years of experience I bring to this race, including my time as a Judge on the Milwaukee children’s court, the appellate court, and Supreme Court. I will work for the people of this state to ensure that justice is served and upheld on the state’s highest court."
Conservatives in the state were quick to circle their wagons around Bradley, saying that it was 24 years ago and that she was just a kid. That argument only works if one is willing to overlook the fact that her entire career was based on pushing a hate-filled, bigoted agenda, including voter suppression and targeting young minorities.
The simple truth is that Bradley is not fit to serve on the bench now, much less deserving to be elected to a full term.
Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan had some strong words for Bradley's attitudes:
“Justice Rebecca Bradley’s extremely vitriolic statements about the LGBT community and individuals living with HIV/AIDS were not renounced in her ambiguous statement that appeared to be offered to dodge responsibility for an extremist, hateful worldview expressed multiple times in past public diatribes.
“Her statement yesterday was directed toward people she offended rather than renouncing her own hateful past worldview. Bradley concluded it claiming her crude, bigoted ideas should have no impact on current Wisconsin voters while giving no explanation of her claimed change of heart. To even insinuate that these hateful sentiments were acceptable in 1992 throws into question what Rebecca Bradley really believes and if she is truly fair and impartial enough to serve on our state’s highest court.
“I would like to extend an offer to Justice Bradley to come and meet with the LBGT community and those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as others she targeted in her public writings such as their supportive family members, environmentalists, people struggling with substance abuse, and women making private health decisions. The only way to discover if her worldview has truly changed is to have an open dialogue with the thousands of people she targeted in her past about where her heart really is at today.”
Mark Pocan is gay, and knows the issues at stake here all too well.