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Supreme Court Justice Bradley apologizes for calling people ‘queers,’ ‘degenerates’ in college paper

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MADISON — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley is apologizing for anti-gay opinion pieces she wrote when a college student 24 years ago but will not resign her position.

Scot Ross with One Wisconsin Now speaks in Madison on Rebecca Bradley

Scot Ross with One Wisconsin Now speaks in Madison on Rebecca Bradley

The liberal group One Wisconsin Now released three newspaper columns that Bradley wrote for the Marquette Tribune during her time at Marquette University in the 1990s. Bradley is running against JoAnne Kloppenburg after having been appointed to the bench by Gov. Scott Walker last fall.

"One will be better off contracting AIDS than developing cancer, because those afflicted with the politically-correct disease will be getting all of the funding," Bradley wrote in a column dated November 11th, 1992. "How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments."

Rebecca Bradley newspaper column

Rebecca Bradley newspaper column

In a statement, Bradley apologized and said she is "frankly embarrassed at the content and tone of what I wrote those many years ago."

Rebecca Bradley's response

Bradley attended a fundraiser at the Milwaukee Club downtown Monday evening, but entered the event through a side door. Her campaign declined to make her available for questions from reporters.

Walker did not know of Bradley's 1992 comments before appointing her to three different judicial positions over the past four years, said Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor.

Governor Scott Walker's response

"Justice Bradley appropriately made it clear today that a column written in college does not reflect her views as a Supreme Court justice, a court of appeals judge, a circuit court judge or as an attorney," Walker said Monday afternoon in a statement.

Patrick did not respond to a follow-up question asking whether Walker would've made the appointment had he known about the 1992 opinion pieces.

One Wisconsin Now's executive director, Scot Ross, called on Bradley to resign her position on the Supreme Court. Bradley's past writings prove she would be unable to decide a case involving gays or lesbians fairly, he said.

"I've never seen anything this appalling," Ross said of his nine years of doing opposition research on Republican candidates. "If she has a shred of decency, she will resign immediately."

"That's absurd. She will not resign," responded Luke Martz, Bradley's campaign manager.

In the statement sent out by her campaign, Bradley said the One Wisconsin Now information was "a blatant mudslinging campaign to distract the people from the issues at hand."

Rebecca Bradley, JoAnne Kloppenburg

Rebecca Bradley, JoAnne Kloppenburg

Kloppenburg, who is facing Bradley in the April 5th general election, responded that there is "no statute of limitations on hate."

"Rebecca Bradley’s comments are as abhorrent and disturbing today as they were in 1992," Kloppenburg said in a statement, in which she also criticized Bradley's ties to Walker.

The columns released by One Wisconsin Now span from February 11th, 1992 until November 11th, 1992. In the final column, Bradley criticizes U.S. voters for electing Bill Clinton president.

"We have now elected a tree-hugging, baby-killing, pot-smoking, flag-burning, queer-living, bull-spouting '60s radical socialist adulterer to the highest office in our nation," Bradley wrote. "We've just had an election which proves the majority of voters are either totally stupid or entirely evil."

Rebecca Bradley newspaper column

Rebecca Bradley newspaper column

Bradley was not immediately available for an interview, her campaign said.

Ross said One Wisconsin Now looked at microfilm at the Wisconsin Historical Society. He said he wasn't sure whether the group had looked at all of Bradley's columns or just a partial list.

Kloppenburg did not write for the student newspaper while attending Yale University or law school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Melissa Mulliken, Kloppenburg's campaign manager.

The only reference to Kloppenburg found during a FOX6 News search was an October 1972 directory in the Yale Daily News that listed her room number. The directory lists Kloppenburg as JoAnne Fishman, her maiden name.


  • Jim Smith

    A hit peiece by Fox 6 news.
    Hillary has flip flopped on this very same issue and much more recent then 24 years ago.
    Peoples opinion can and do change as we get older.
    Again non-news

  • Michael Neils

    24 years ago? Wasn’t this also the time our then POTUS was sleeping around? Yet he got elected to a 2nd term. What was our current POTUS doing 24 years ago? You can kind of understand her point-YOU choose to live a promiscuous sexual life style. YOU choose to use drugs. CANCER chooses you. Even people who eat right, don’t smoke. tan etc can get cancer. Kinda like our prisoners get medical and dental care while our vets and WORKING people can’t afford it. Babies with many daddies and no one works=a check. Just the way it is.

    • Michael Neils

      This is NOT a racist comment. No where is color mentioned. Why would you even think that? And SHAME on you for even thinking the n word.

  • Mark Deprez

    Call it what it is ……A Queer is a Queer, A Degenerate is “Degenerate,” etc etc etc etc, No more PC Bull.

  • Lorimar

    Well she’s kinda right regarding her freedom of speech. Most liberals spew so much garbage and indoctrinate everyone with no regard there should be another opinion. if you go against their liberal agenda they will sentence you burning at the stake. Time to allow everyone to speak their mind without apologies and regrets, the more they do that the more they will be accepted by the 90%.

  • chris

    Shows the level the stupid libs will go to get a conservative out of office. Really what she wrote in a college paper. Who gives a crap. We have a president who sealed his records.

  • Chris Abele's AA sponsor

    Why aren’t the libs up in arm when Koppenberg kidnapped those Dalmatians and wanted to make them into a coat? She should have to withdraw. .where’s peta?

  • Mark

    THOSE PATHETIC scum bags at “one Wisconsin Now” are the real bags Scot Ross… Bill Stephens…Stephanie Bloomingdales…David Sensenbrenner..Mike Bowne …Jennie Dye….Analiese Eicher etc…etc…etc…

  • Reagan 84

    This happened 24 YEARS AGO? Really Libtards,that’s the best you can do? Boy Kloppenhag,you really are desperate. Go back to that circus sideshow you came from.

  • Libsareliars

    Hey fox6 you know Hillary Clinton once supported the KKK. You bums going to investigate that at all since she is running for the highest position in our country?

  • David

    These liberals are hateful. They want everybody who disagrees with them fired, jailed, etc. People have a right to say things that liberals don’t like even if offensive. How many people have never said anything offensive? The notion of statements by a college student being used decades later to fire her is outrageous. Talk about chilling free speech. These liberals need to get a life. Digging up statements from the distant past is almost ever a sane thing to do with just few exceptions. Almost always, those who attack people for their offensive statements, etc. have made even more offensive statements themselves. By the way, the entire state of Wisconsin should apologize for voting for Cruz.

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