Justice Prosser to retire from State Supreme Court in July

WI law library to be named after Justice David Prosser
Justice Prosser

State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser announced he will retire July 31 after nearly 18 years on the court and four decades in public service, according to a release.

The statement didn’t give a reason, but Prosser is 73.

A court spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking an interview with Prosser.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Wisconsin in various capacities for more than 40 years. During this time, I have had the exceptional privilege of working in all three branches of state government, including 18 years as a representative in the State Assembly and 18 years as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Prosser wrote in a letter delivered to Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday.

Prosser’s contributions to the Supreme Court and state government are unlikely to be matched by anyone, Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack said in the release.

“Justice David T. Prosser is an exceptionally bright and thoughtful jurist whose presence on the Court will be greatly missed. David has brought unique perspectives to Court discussions, thereby increasing the Court’s ability to understand difficult problems presented to us for resolution,” Roggensack said.

Prosser was first appointed to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Tommy Thompson in 1998 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Justice Janine P. Geske, according to the release. He was elected to a 10-year term in 2001 and re-elected in 2011.

He made headlines in 2011 when he placed his hands around liberal-leaning Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s throat during an argument in chambers over a legal challenge to Gov. Scott Walker’s law curtailing public workers’ collective bargaining rights.