MADISON, Wis. — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been blocking a nomination to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for his entire term. Now he’s marching lockstep with his Washington D.C. Republican colleagues in their unprecedented refusal to do their jobs and give a fair hearing and timely vote to President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. To keep the public informed of the status of Sen. Johnson appalling record of obstructionism on the courts, One Wisconsin Institute today announced the launch of IsRonJohnsonDoingHisJob.com.
“It’s a yes or no answer to the question of whether Sen. Johnson is doing his job, and we’ve launched IsRonJohnsonDoingHisJob.com to provide people with the answers,” said One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross. “As long as he blocks nominees to the federal court and refuses to support a fair hearing and timely vote for the President’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court the answer is going to be no.”
Since President Obama, elected to a four year term with the votes of 65 million Americans, did his duty and nominated a Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, Johnson joined his Washington, D.C. colleagues in an unprecedented partisan power play. The GOP, with Johnson’s support, has declared they would rather leave the nation’s highest court in danger of being gridlocked for at least a year, than carry out their responsibility to consider the nominee.
According to the Senate Historian, no Supreme Court nominee has ever been denied a confirmation hearing unless the nominee voluntarily withdrew from consideration. It has been 48 days since President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
The federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has also been without a full complement of judges since 2010 because, upon entering office, Johnson first obstructed the nominating process and then delayed consideration of nominees. Johnson’s intransigence, stretching nearly six full years, has meant decisions in critical federal cases, like on Wisconsin’s voter ID law, were left deadlocked.
One Wisconsin Institute is a member of the Why Courts Matter Coalition focused on ensuring that the federal judiciary is representative of America’s diverse population and ending the judicial vacancy crisis.