MADISON, Wis. — Today marks the one hundredth day of Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Senate Republicans unprecedented refusal to do their jobs and give a fair hearing and timely vote to President Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. By going along with the partisan power play of his Washington D.C. leadership, Johnson is leaving the nation’s high court split at four-four and on the brink of a Constitutional crisis that threatens important rulings on issues important to Wisconsin.
“The President has a constitutional duty to nominate a qualified nominee to fill any vacant seat on the Supreme Court and other federal courts, and the U.S. Senate has a constitutional duty to offer its advice and consent,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher. “The President has done his job, now Ron Johnson and the Senate should do theirs.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, with a 4-4 split, is facing a Constitutional crisis that threatens important rulings on issues like voting. Senate Republicans are refusing to give President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy a timely hearing and a fair vote. Even though the wait for a Supreme Court nominee to be confirmed has never stretched longer than 125 days, it has already been 99 days without any action on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.
In addition, the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals suffers from the longest federal judicial vacancy in the nation at nearly 2,500 days. Sen. Ron Johnson has been at the center of the gridlock, blocking the forwarding of nominees for most of his term and, with his dilatory tactics, threatening the ability of nominee Donald Schott to get a vote before the full Senate.
Eicher noted that federal courts are a critical in a well functioning democracy. They are entrusted with ensuring all people are treated equally, that our rights to vote and participate in the political process are protected, that rights to privacy are protected and that the wealthy and corporations don’t have too much power in the political system.
She concluded, “Ron Johnson has now spent 100 days ignoring the oath he swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution and refusing to do his job. It is appalling that he would be willing to put people’s rights at risk as part of a crass Washington D.C. power play. It’s past time for him to stop playing politics and to do his job.”