MADISON, Wis. — Today marks the 125th day since President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, officially matching the longest time from nomination to confirmation of a high court nominee since 1916. But instead of doing his job and acting to fill the high court and others like the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson will be in Cleveland today delivering a speech in advance of Donald Trump’s coronation as the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“If Sen. Johnson has the time to travel to Cleveland to lend his political support to the most racist, misogynistic and unqualified nominee of a major party for president in the modern era, how does he explain his refusal to do his job and give eminently qualified judicial nominees a fair hearing and timely vote?” asked One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher.
The unprecedented partisan political power play by Johnson and the Republican leadership in Washington D.C. in refusing to give a fair hearing and timely vote to Judge Merrick Garland has now stretched for 125 days. Since 1916 no U.S. Supreme Court nominee has had to wait more than 125 days from their nomination to their confirmation vote. Since the 1980s, every person appointed to the Supreme Court has been given a prompt hearing and vote within 100 days and 17 Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during an election year.
The Supreme Court is not the only part of the federal judiciary left shorthanded due to Johnson and his allies intransigence. The Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, that covers Wisconsin has been without its full complement of judges for nearly 2,400 days. The nominee to fill the vacancy was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support. For his entire term in office Johnson has sought to obstruct and delay the 7th Circuit seat being filled, most recently allowing the Senate to be adjourned until September without voting to confirm the nomination of Donald Schott.
Meanwhile Eicher noted that, Donald Trump, who Johnson has travelled to Cleveland to support at the Republican National Convention, based on his temperament and ridiculous policy proposals, is the least qualified major party presidential nominee in modern times.
She concluded, “Sen. Ron Johnson is making the wrong kind of history this week with his obstructionism on qualified court nominees and support of Donald Trump. Our federal courts, that protect the rights of all Americans, are part of what makes our nation great. It’d be nice if Ron Johnson did his job so our courts could do theirs.”