WI Supreme Court Justice Gableman Caught in an Amatuerish Lie

As a sideshow concerning the longrunning soap opera that surrounds Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, this time concerning his attack on fellow Justice Ann Bradley, his good buddy on the court Justice Michael Gableman, evidently told investigators that Justice Bradley had been violent previously.  Here’s the relevant paragraph from Deputy Hansen’s report (my bolding): 

Justice Gableman said at this time his mind also went back to September 18, 2008, a date that he recalled because it was his birthday. Justice Gableman said he had been on the court for approximately one month at the time, and while in a meeting with the other justices, Justice Crooks was reading the horoscopes.  Justice Gableman said he remembers making a comment to the chief justice in a joking manner and used her first name, Shirley, during this comment towards her.  Justice Gableman said right after he said the chief justice’s first name, Justice Bradley came over to him, hit him on the back of the head and told him that he needed to show respect to the chief. Justice Gableman said that he believed Justice Bradley was not joking because nobody was laughing at the time.  Justice Gableman said he has not told anyone about that incident and has not talked about that incident with anyone, including Justice Bradley, after it happened.

Note the bold bit, that Justice Gableman said it happened on his birthday and only a month into his tenure on the court.  That was surely included in his tale for verisimilitude.  As reported in the Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal, three Justices refuted Gableman’s story, including that there was no meeting that day at all (my bold added). 

The three- Justice Bradley, Justice Patrick Crooks, and Chief Justice Shirley Abramson – said that they could recall no such incident and that no meeting among the justices took place on that day

So much for verisimilitude on Gableman’s part.  Now he says that the incident happened a year later, disputing his own testimony that it stuck out in his memory because it happened only a month after he joined the court.  Well, why DID it stick out in his mind?  Because he made it up? 

David Prosser himself has made a mockery of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and now he is joined by Justice Micheal Gableman.  Please note that the term “verisimilitude” stands for a literary device, where an author includes details to make fiction seem more real.  That’s what Micheal Gableman did here, including that the date was his birthday, and that it was shortly after he joined the court, in order to make his telling of the incident more believable to the Deputy taking the statement.  But those pieces of versisimilitude are exactly what catch Michael Gableman in his lie. 

We could conclude, surely, that a man lying to an officer taking a statement does not deserve to serve on the highest court in the state, and it is clear now that Micheal Gableman lied.  More importantly, perhaps, every lawyer knows that it is such detail which will be caught in a situation where a witness lies.  Every lawyer knows to advise his or her clients not to embellish.  It’s amatuerish.  Yeah, Gableman evidently isn’t a good enough lawyer to be on the court. 

I suppose I forgot to castigate reporters for not using language straight enough here.  They should have called Gableman’s lie what it is. . . a lie.  And they should further challenge him concerning the details he include to try and dress up his fiction.  Alas, the conservative media doesn’t care for facts. 





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14 thoughts on “WI Supreme Court Justice Gableman Caught in an Amatuerish Lie

  1. Of course it’s a lie. I won’t hold my breath for any legal action against Gableman, just like I knew that nothing would happen to Prosser for his violence against another judge. Gableman and Prosser are loathsome creatures, who are true representatives of conservative/right-wing/Republican philosophy in this country.

  2. includes details to make fiction seem more real

    Great point. I think this guy’s one of the biggest weasels in the state, but part of me still can’t accept we have a supreme court justice who’d stoop this low. So what do we have here, besides the fact that three other justices have explicitly refuted his story:

    – Gableman’s story just happens to line up perfectly with his version of the Prosser incident: Bradley protecting Abrahamson’s honor with a physical threat. Gableman also repeats Prosser’s “mother-daughter relationship” quip.

    – “had been on the court for approximately one month at the time,” meaning he’s the cub justice talking to the SCOWI icon. Doesn’t quite pack the same wallop if it’s a year later.

    – Bradley, the stickler for formalities, has no problem calling other justices “Pat” and “Dave” in memos and e-mails. “Even the custodians” call her Shirley.

    – “nobody was laughing at the time,” meaning everyone saw this happen, expressed disapproval with stony silence and then completely forgot about it. And he didn’t talk about it until a police investigation opens three, er, two years later.


  3. I think Gableman needs a nickname. His buddies over at WMC gave Louis Butler one, ( loophole Louie), so I think Gableman deserves one too.

    Mendacious Mikey? It’s got a nice ring to it.

  4. Lying to a police officer is a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin. You think I could get away with lying to a cop in the course of his/her investigation?

    The DA in Dane County should charge Gableman with obstructing an officer, and Ann Walsh Bradley should sue him for defamation. It’s obvious Gableman needs a lesson in justice.

    1. He’s also one of the final arbiters of legal ethics in the state, along with the mad strangler. It’s just mindblowing.

    2. Bingo, Steve. Just what I was thinking.

      We need to push the issue. Get charges filed if possible. There must be some “up-sell” charges that could be added on as well. I mean there’s always the legal “fries with that”. That’s what DAs do!

  5. We expect politicians to be caught in lies, but this one is so clearly amatuerish! That’s what disqualifies him for the court, not his toadying, necessarily, but his not being able to lie with any kind of skill.

  6. Here’s Gablemans statement on the issue.


    He says that the seven justices met in closed conference on September 18th, 2009, implying that all seven justices were in the room when this alleged incident occurred?

    Bradley has stated that no such incident ever happened.

    Crooks and Abrahamson have stated that no such incident ever happened in their presence. Ziegler has said she did not witness any such incident.

    We need to hear from Prosser and Roggensack. Did they witness Justice Bradley swatting Gableman on the back of the head? They need to come forward with statements on what they did or didn’t see. I think Gableman should also issue another statement on who he remembers beiing in the room at the time this alleged incident occurred

    This is actually quite a serious business. We may have a man on the Wisconsin Supreme Court who is a flat out liar, and who would falsely accuse a fellow justice of a misdemeanor crime for political purposes.

    1. He did lie for purely partisan purposes, b ut we should boot him because he isn’t a good lawyer, because he hasn’t figured out how to tell a lie well. Sure, this is tongue in cheek, but it is serious in a way.

      A good lawyer would have advised Gableman to keep his trap shut rather than lie. All good lawyers would. Gableman should know that, but he’s not a good enough lawyer, evidently, and we need good lawyers on the Supreme Court, and also ethical ones.

  7. there’s a bit if irony here…recent newspaper articles have discussed how poor eyewitness accounts are in court and that they are less and less reliable for testimony…

    1. And double the irony considering Gableman’s disposition toward defendants (at least those who aren’t top GOP muckety mucks).

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