MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley apologized Monday morning for several derogatory statements she made about homosexuals while writing for a student newspaper in college.
"Perhaps AIDS Awareness should seek to educate us with their misdirected compassion for the degenerates who basically commit suicide through their behavior," Bradley wrote in one passage published in the Marquette Tribune on February 11, 1992.
In another column published on November 11, 1992, Bradley wrote: "One will be better off battling AIDS than developing cancer, because those afflicted with the politically-correct disease will be getting all of the funding. How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than innocent victims of more prevalent ailments."
The statements were presented at a news conference by the left-wing group One Wisconsin Now (OWN), which often does opposition research on conservative and Republican candidates.
Justice Bradley is running for election to the high court against Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg. Gov. Walker appointed Justice Bradley to the Supreme Court last fall, after Justice Patrick Crooks died. The election is set for April 5.
Scot Ross, executive director of OWN, said they uncovered the writings after receiving a tip about them with someone who was a student at Marquette University at the same time as Bradley during the early 1990s.
"I will certainly characterize whomever transferred their infected blood a homosexual or drug-addicted degenerate and a murderer," wrote Bradley in another column from February 28, 1992. "But the homosexuals and drug addicts who do essentially kill themselves and others through their own behavior deservedly receive none of my sympathy."
"If you're an LGBT individual, how can you walk into a courtroom expecting fair and balanced treatment?," asked Jenni Dye, research director for OWN.
Ross called for Bradley to immediately resign from the Supreme Court.
"That is absurd, she will not resign," said Luke Martz, a Bradley campaign spokesperson, in a statement sent to 27 News.
Justice Bradley apologized for making those comments less than an hour after they were released.
"Recently an article I wrote while a college student at Marquette 24 years ago has surfaced on left leaning blogs and now the mainstream press. I was writing as a very young student, upset about the outcome of that presidential election and I am frankly embarrassed at the content and tone of what I wrote those many years ago," said Justice Bradley. "To those offended by comments I made as a young college student, I apologize, and assure you that those comments are not reflective of my worldview. These comments have nothing to do with who I am as a person or a jurist, and they have nothing to do with the issues facing the voters of this state."
But Justice Bradley went on to attack One Wisconsin Now for releasing the comments.
"This is a blatant mudslinging campaign to distract the people from the issues at hand. This election is about diametrically opposed judicial philosophies. I have run a positive campaign focused on the rule of law and strict adherence to the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions. I am proud of the twenty plus years of experience I bring to this race, including my time as a Judge on the Milwaukee children’s court, the appellate court, and Supreme Court. I will work for the people of this state to ensure that justice is served and upheld on the state’s highest court."
Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have more on this developing story on 27 News at 5 & 6.