Politics

Judge Says People with AIDS are “Degenerate Queers”

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Rebecca Bradley has just been elected to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, which is alarming a lot of people mostly due to some articles she once wrote in which she stated that we shouldn’t care about people with AIDS because they’re “degenerate drug addicts and queers.” She also called Bill Clinton a murderer for supporting abortion rights. Not a good look!

When I saw the headlines about this, I was absolutely horrified. That is clearly a horrific person who should not have any say over the future direction of society.

But then, surprisingly, my view softened: it turns out that Bradley wrote those articles when she was in college, in 1992. That was nearly 25 years ago, and when an activist group brought her words to light, she apologized for them and said they don’t reflect her current views. She attributed it to her youth, but I don’t buy that — college students are adults who are fully capable of expressing real opinions. But still, it’s absolutely possible to completely change from bigoted dickhead to progressive thinking human being in 2 and a half decades.

So then I wanted to know what her current views were, and that’s when I went back to being horrified.

In 2012, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker appointed Bradley to her first judicial position. Prior to that, she had never tried a criminal case and had only seen one completed jury-trial. He then appointed her twice more, the last being to the Wisconsin Supreme Court after another justice’s death.

Considering that Walker defunded Planned Parenthood, signed a bill to force women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasounds and then look at the fetus, clearly stated he opposes abortion even in the case of rape, doesn’t believe in climate change, gets a 100% ranking from the NRA, calls same-sex marriage a “grave mistake,” has been investigated for several illegal activities including campaign coordination and union-busting scandals — considering all that, if he says he likes pizza you should start rethinking your dinner options. So if he likes a lawyer enough to appoint her three separate times despite the fact that she has zero related experience, you should definitely take a closer look at why that is.

Sure enough, Bradley didn’t leave her misinformed idiocy back in college.

In 2004, Bradley wrote an op-ed in which she argued in favor of a law that would allow pharmacists to withhold medical services from women based on their own religious beliefs. This would have included hormonal birth control (used for birth control or for regulating disorders like endometriosis), cancer drugs (which could cause pregnancy complications), and “Plan B,” which of course is just a strong dose of birth control that prevents egg fertilization.

In her article, Bradley conflated birth control and abortion, and then abortion with murder, stating that pro-choice activists want to elevate “women’s convenience over pharmacists’ objections to being a party to murder.”

Ever since Walker started appointing her to more and more prestigious positions, Bradley has kept her opinion quiet and claimed that her personal feelings have no reflection on her judicial decisions. That’s a nice thought, but considering that she had so little experience on the bench before getting appointed to the Supreme Court, and zero relevant experience before being appointed a judge, there’s really no way to tell. And considering all the underhanded tactics used by her patron saint Scott Walker, I’m not convinced that her stunning ignorance on women’s issues isn’t going to result in something ugly for the people of Wisconsin.

Alas, it’s too late, since she won her campaign. My advice to the good people of Wisconsin at this point? Escape while you still can.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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5 Comments

  1. April 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm —

    Rebecca Watson,

    What’s your advice to those who live in Wisconsin, who can’t get out?

  2. April 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm —

    Come to Illinois! Everyone *loves* it here.

    (Except for the taxes and almost comedic recurring gubernatorial corruption)

    • April 15, 2016 at 6:24 pm —

      And the secret detention facilities and the legalized police brutality and the apartheid of the South Side…

  3. April 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm —

    “Suddenly New Zeaaaaaaaland……..”

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