by Victor Hawthorne -
SGN Staff Writer
While Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are making headlines for their respective come-from-behind blowout wins in Wisconsin, a more shocking politician actually won an intense and very controversial race in the Badger State on Tuesday, April 5.
Homophobe, anti-feminist, and right wing bigot Rebecca Bradley was just elected to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Bradley narrowly beat her more qualified opponent, JoAnne Kloppenberg, a state appellate judge, to win her a 10-year term to the state's highest court.
With all of the right-wing financing her campaign received and her close ties to Republican Governor Scott Walker, it's difficult to imagine Wisconsin's newest Supreme Court justice will be impartial in her decisions over the next decade. Even more troubling however, are some of her comments about women, survivors of sexual assault, members of the LGBT community, and people living with HIV and AIDS.
Her attacks on the LGBT community are especially disturbing. In 1992 Bradley wrote that 'homosexuals and drug addicts who do essentially kill themselves and others through their own behavior deservedly receive none of my sympathy.' Adding that 'heterosexual sex is very healthy in a loving marital relationship. Homosexual sex, however, kills.' Bradley also expressed anger over AIDS getting more research money and awareness than other diseases.
'How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments,' she wrote.
Bradley also holds deep anti-feminist convictions. Her column at Marquette University, 'Awaiting feminism's demise' was a counterpoint to one by Jeffrey Howe arguing that 'Feminism benefits all.'
'I intend to expose the feminist movement as largely composed of angry, militant, man-hating lesbians who abhor the traditional family,' Bradley wrote, arguing that the feminist movement was not at all concerned with defending women's rights and that it had been hijacked by the political left.
Adding insult to injury, Bradley suggested that author Camille Paglia 'legitimately suggested that women play a role in date rape' and wrote that 'the only solution to date rape is female self-awareness and self-control. A woman's No. 1 line of defense against rape is herself.'
Her comments on abortion are equally insensitive as she equated abortion to 'a time in history when Jews were treated as non-humans and tortured and murdered,' and 'a time in history when blacks were treated as something less than human.'
Writing in her column at Marquette she claimed that women who chose to have an abortion have no moral or ethical basis.
'Women even declare some right to control their bodies, neglecting the fact that in choosing abortion they are asserting a right to control another body, and a right to murder their own flesh and blood. ... Do not be persuaded by any pleas for a woman's right to control her body or 'choose' to be pregnant or not; they have no moral or ethical basis.'
In 2006 Bradley demonstrated that her beliefs have not evolved as she wrote in a column that pharmacists distributing birth control are 'a party to murder.'
It comes as no surprise then, that like many of her passionate conservative family values comrades, Bradley is also a hypocrite. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that in 2004 Bradley was in an extramarital affair with a coworker who she then represented in his child custody case - more damning evidence suggesting the jurist is not fit for the state's highest court.
Bradley is so controversial that even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders weighed in on the state Supreme Court race just days before the primary. Clinton went out of her way to denounce Bradley while campaigning in Milwaukee saying, 'There is no place on any Supreme Court or any court in this country, no place at all for Rebecca Bradley's decades-long track record of dangerous rhetoric against women, survivors of sexual assault and the LGBT community.'
Adding, 'No to discrimination, no to hate speech and no to Bradley.'
The following night at a rally in Madison, Sanders announced, 'I hope that a large voter turnout on Tuesday will help elect JoAnne Kloppenburg to the Supreme Court!'
Bradley's journey to the state Supreme Court makes her Tuesday win even more infuriating as her ties to right-wing Governor Walker propelled her not once or twice, but three times.
Over the past five years, Walker has made several appointments to positions in state government. Unfortunately his main criteria for appointments are based on ideology and party loyalty rather than professional qualifications.
Bradley is just the latest example of the governor's shenanigans. Receiving three appointments in three years, (including last fall's appointment to the State Supreme Court) Bradley was put on the fast track to run in Tuesday's election.
In addition to three appointments, Walker also helped Bradley get elected by signing a strict voter ID law in 2011 targeting minorities, young people, and the elderly.
Rebecca Bradley will now serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the next 10 years, likely affecting many important state-wide decisions for decades to come.
While it may seem difficult to understand how the same state that elected the first openly Gay U.S. Senator to congress, Tammy Baldwin, could possibly elect someone as homophobic, anti-feminist, and regressive as Rebecca Bradley, it's actually rather simple. It's called voting.
If there is anything we can learn from Bradley's election to the State Supreme Court, it's the importance of voting. Let us not forget all of the events that had to have taken place for this to happen.
Scott Walker was elected governor in the 2010 mid-term elections, as were Republican majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate, giving Republicans complete control of the state. The following year, Republicans passed strict voting laws to help them win in the future, which was then upheld by a conservative state Supreme Court - the very same court Rebecca Bradley was appointed to by Governor Walker last fall and elected to on Tuesday.
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