State law library named in honor of retired Justice David T. Prosser, Jr.
Madison, Wisconsin - October 20, 2016
About 130 people gathered in Madison Oct. 19 to celebrate the naming of the state law library in honor of retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David T. Prosser, Jr. and his lifelong dedication to public service.
In all, Prosser spent more than 40 years in public service, including experience in all three branches of state government. He retired July 31, after 18 years on the Supreme Court. Earlier in his career, he served as a tax appeals commissioner, legislative leader, and a prosecutor.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack said the naming of the law library in Prosser’s honor is well deserved, not only for Prosser’s years of public service, but also for his dedication to the law library.
"Some have called law libraries 'the lawyer’s laboratory.' It is a lawyer's laboratory because lawyers and judges and others do investigative work here – just as a chemist may do investigative work in her laboratory. No justice has been more dedicated to the research that happens in the law library than Justice Prosser," Roggensack said.
Former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson was among the many public officials – past and current – who marked the occasion during a ceremony at the newly named "Justice David T. Prosser, Jr. State Law Library." Thompson, who appointed Prosser to the Supreme Court in 1998, gave the keynote. Also in attendance were current and past Supreme Court justices, as well as past and current legislators, among others who worked with Prosser over the years.
Prior to joining the Court, Prosser was a commissioner on the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission from 1997 to 1998. He served in the state Assembly from 1979 through 1996, including two years as Speaker and six years as Minority Leader. Before that, he had served as Outagamie County district attorney.
Early in his career, Prosser worked in Washington, D.C., first as an attorney-advisor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Criminal Justice, then as administrative assistant to U.S. Rep. Harold Froehlich of Wisconsin, who was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate impeachment inquiry.
The David T. Prosser, Jr. State Law Library, formerly known as the Wisconsin State Law Library, is located on the second floor of the Risser Justice Center at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and West Doty Street in Madison.
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