MADISON, Wis. — As candidates travel to Wisconsin in advance of the April 5 Presidential Primary Election, one thing they’re quickly noticing is Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson refusing to do his job, joining the unprecedented Washington D.C. partisan power play that could leave the nation’s highest court gridlocked for at least a year by refusing to consider President Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee. In an appearance on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus today, Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton is expected to comment on the impending crisis that could be triggered by Ron Johnson’s obstructionism.
“The oath of office Ron Johnson took and that Democratic presidential nomination contenders hope to take includes a promise to uphold and abide by the U.S. Constitution,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher. “That includes both making nominations to fill vacancies on the federal court and acting to consider them — no matter the political party of the President making the nomination or the Senator charged with their consideration.”
Johnson’s blocking of a nomination to the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, that stretched for nearly six years, provides a grim preview of what could happen if his intransigence on the U.S. Supreme Court is sustained. Decisions in critical federal cases, like on Wisconsin’s voter ID law were left deadlocked, because of his refusal to act on the nominee for a vacancy.
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.
Eicher concluded, “Our Supreme Court cannot be held hostage for a year because of politically motivated obstructionism. Anyone holding federal elected office or running for it ought to realize that and be willing to do their job and uphold our nation’s Constitution.”