MILWAUKEE — One Wisconsin Institute Program Director joined community leaders from around the state at an event in Milwaukee calling on U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to “Do Your Job” and support the holding of a full Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Merrick Garland.
“Will Sen. Ron Johnson continue to be a part of the problem, or will he become part of the solution?” asked Analiese Eicher, One Wisconsin Institute program director. “Our Supreme Court cannot be held hostage for a year because of Republican obstructionism. It is reasonable to say that preventing a hearing and vote is a direct assault on the Constitution and our nation as a representative democracy.”
In recent weeks Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has joined his Washington, D.C. colleagues in an unprecedented partisan power play, declaring they would rather leave the nation’s highest court in danger of being gridlocked for at least a year, than carrying out their responsibility to consider President Obama’s nominee. Johnson recently said he would consider having a meeting with Garland, but that is far from the work which needs to be done to ensure a functioning Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court of the United States is too important to wait in the balance for an entire year or longer while Sen. Johnson and his allies succumb to the petty partisan politics of obstruction,” said Eicher. “Sen. Johnson: Do your job. The people of Wisconsin do their jobs every day and we expect you to do the same.”
Johnson’s obstruction single-handedly allowed the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to be the longest running vacancy on the appellate court in the nation. As a result, decisions in critical federal cases like on Wisconsin’s voter ID law were left deadlocked. Johnson has finally relented under public pressure on this issue.
Just as clear as Sen. Johnson’s track record of obstructionism on judicial appointments is the language of the United States Constitution that he, as an elected official, has sworn an oath to uphold. It is the duty of the President of the United States to nominate judges to the federal courts and justices to the Supreme Court. “
“It is the job of Ron Johnson as a member of the Senate to give these nominations fair consideration, to ‘advise and consent,’ not ‘obstruct and delay,’” said Eicher. “Sen. Johnson needs to stop spending his time defending his Republican ally Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley, and start defending the United States Constitution,” said Eicher. “Sen. Johnson, do your job.”