Justice Michael Gableman on Friday recused himself from David Prosser’s discipline case, leaving the court short of a quorum needed to hear it.
Gableman did not give an explanation in his order other than he “wholly” agrees with the reasons fellow Justices Patience Roggensack and Annette Ziegler gave in also recusing themselves from the case.
Prosser also is not participating in the case, leaving the court short of the four justices needed for a quorum. So far, only Justice Patrick Crooks has said he would hear it, while Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley have not responded to Prosser’s motions seeking to force them off the case.
Milwaukee lawyer Frank Gimbel, the special prosecutor in the case, contends that Abrahamson has the authority to send the case to be heard by a special panel of three appeals court judges. Normally, such a panel hears judicial ethics cases to determine the facts and makes recommendations on any discipline to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then makes the final ruling and issues any punishment.
The Judicial Commission earlier this year filed the misconduct case against Prosser over the physical altercation he had with Bradley last summer where he allegedly placed his hands around Bradley’s neck during an argument in chambers.