MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley says people feel sorry for her despite the anti-gay comments she has made. On Wednesday, March 9th, Bradley was hit with a new controversy that her opponent seized on during a debate.
The liberal group One Wisconsin Now revealed that Bradley once said it was "legitimate" to say women play a role in date rape. The group had previously uncovered that Bradley also called gay people "queers" and "degenerates" and compared abortion to the Holocaust in college opinion pieces written in 1992.
Questions about her past comments followed Bradley to a forum hosted by the Milwaukee Bar Association on Wednesday, and afterwards, she blamed the media for the controversy.
"I`m somebody who has put myself out there to serve the people of Wisconsin, and I deserve a little more respect than I`m receiving right now," Bradley said to reporters after the debate.
Bradley said she has received support from across the state this week.
"I think there are people who kinda feel sorry for me right now," Bradley said.
One Wisconsin Now
On Monday, March 7th, Tuesday, March 8th and Wednesday, March 9th, the liberal group "One Wisconsin Now" released opinion pieces that Bradley wrote for the Marquette University Tribune in 1992.
In the latest piece to be released, Bradley refers to an author and said she "legitimately suggested that women play a role in date rape."
"Any suggestion that I ever said that a woman is to blame for a rape is offensive for me as a woman," Bradley said.
When asked whether there is anything else that is going to be released that Bradley would like to speak out ahead of, Bradley said:
"I will wait to see what anyone else wants to throw out in this race. I think it`s becoming pretty overkill," Bradley said.
Bradley's opponent, JoAnne Kloppenburg, was critical.
"These were deliberate articulations of her beliefs. They were not casual, off the cuff comments. They are just a pattern of her career," Kloppenburg said.
Bradley said she doesn't know if her past writings will have an impact on the election.
"I have apologized, and it`s time to move on from the things I said and did when I was a kid 24 years ago," Bradley said.
Bradley said she would officiate same-sex weddings.
FOX6 News has searched the Yale Daily News archives for any opinion pieces that Kloppenburg may have written in college and we did not find any.
JoAnne Kloppenburg and Rebecca Bradley
As for the debate between the Supreme Court candidates, Bradley explained why she left oral arguments for a political event, and Kloppenburg responded to a charge that she's soft on crime.
Bradley said her fellow justices routinely arrive late to oral arguments and leave early. In February, she left early to give a speech at an event hosted by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's top business group.
"I made sure before I left a few minutes early that all my questions were answered, and I later watched the rest of the oral argument on videotape, so I missed absolutely nothing," Bradley said.
Kloppenburg called it a dereliction of duty.
"There`s nothing routine about leaving oral argument in this case 23 minutes early," Kloppenburg said, to which Bradley replied, "not true."
Kloppenburg blasted Bradley for being appointed to the bench by Gov. Scott Walker -- but Bradley had a comeback.
"What Judge Kloppenburg has not told you is that she has three times applied for judicial appointments," Bradley said, referencing Kloppenburg's applications to former Gov. Jim Doyle and President Barack Obama.
The two also squared off over negative ads from outside groups.
A conservative third-party group that's airing an attack ad against Kloppenburg altered that ad on Wednesday , one day after it launched. The group, Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, removed a graphic that said "Conviction Overturned."
The ad criticizes Kloppenburg for siding with a convicted sex offender and allowing a new hearing in his case. Kloppenburg said the ad is "deceitful" and the offender is still in prison.
A spokesman for Wisconsin Alliance for Reform said the ad is factual.