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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

College Democrats struggling to get signatures on petition to have Marquette disassociate from Rebecca Bradley

The petition was created and sent out to the university by the College Democrats in hopes of getting Marquette to disassociate from alumna Rebecca Bradley. Photo via Google Docs

Marquette College Democrats is having trouble getting people to sign its online petition, released March 16, asking the university to “formally disassociate” from alumna and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley after her past controversial writings were released.

“We are not asking the university to pick sides or make political comments about the race,” said Zion Little, freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and vice chair of College Democrats. “We’re just asking the university to say that we do not approve of (Bradley’s) language now. It was hate speech, and I would like to think that my university wouldn’t tolerate that.”

The Tribune reported March 10 that Bradley came under fire when news outlets uncovered her 1992 writings, criticizing gays, former President Bill Clinton and comparing abortion to slavery and the Holocaust.

“Either you condone drug use, homosexuality, AIDS-producing sex, adultery and murder and are therefore a bad person, or you didn’t know that (Clinton) supports abortion on demand and socialism, which means you are dumb,” Bradley said in one of the pieces.

“We are having trouble getting organizations to sign on our petition,” Little said. “Our issue is that people see us and they think we are automatically politicizing this issue since we are a political organization.”

The writings were columns and letters to the editor and published by the Tribune in 1992 under Bradley’s maiden name, Rebecca Grassl.

University Spokesman Chris Jenkins, said university policy doesn’t allow the university to comment on political races or candidates. Bradley is running to keep her state supreme court seat. When asked about the comments made by College Democrats, Jenkins sent the Marquette Diversity Statement in an email.

“As proud Marquette students, we are disheartened when we see Marquette’s name printed alongside such prejudice language,” College Democrats said in their petition. “We hope that the community will stand by us in solidarity as we seek to improve our campus culture. ”

Little said College Democrats see the Bradley controversy as a social justice issue rather than a political issue. He said the group wants to make Marquette a more tolerant campus.

“If a progressive or Democratic judge had made hateful comments like these, we would expect the same thing from the university,” Little said.

College Democrats held a protest March 15 when Bradley was at the Marquette Law School for the Supreme Court Debate.

“I believe in free speech,” Little said. “But the university owns the paper and they saw these writings and have chosen to do nothing.”

Bradley’s writings surfaced in early March about a month before the election to decide if she will keep her state supreme court seat. She was appointed to the court by Gov. Scott Walker in October 2015 because her predecessor passed away before he could finish his term.

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    Anne SlatteryMar 31, 2016 at 10:15 am

    This is a social justice issue. One of the many reasons I love being a Catholic is our commitment and call to social justice. I’m sure Marquette does not agree with her beliefs and should state so publicly to separate from these ignorant and hateful views.