MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel and the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), who have conspired to pack the Wisconsin State Supreme Court with judges willing to take their side, are now turning their sights to rewriting the rules for nominees to the United States Supreme Court.
The right-wing triumvirate spoke at a Capitol press conference today, sponsored by the Judicial Crisis Network, a group that, according to media reports, has deep financial connections to the outside groups that worked to install a conservative majority on Wisconsin’s high court.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:
“Republicans stole a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court with their unprecedented refusal to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland for nearly one year. Their reward ought not be the lifetime appointment of a right-wing judge who could shape the direction of our nation’s highest court for decades.
“Gov. Walker, Attorney General Schimel and their allies like the WMC have aided and abetted the unprecedented Republican obstructionism on federal judicial nominations. More than 100 judicial nominees were blocked, denied even hearings or votes for one reason and one reason only, because they were made by Democratic President Barack Obama, who notably never lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, as Donald Trump did.
“Now this same cabal is trying to rewrite the rules on federal court appointments, again. They’re declaring Donald Trump’s nomination of right wing Judge Neil Gorsuch ought to be exempt from the same sixty-vote threshold in the U.S. Senate that they required President Obama’s nominees Justices Kagan and Sotomayor to meet.
“For the health of our democracy and the integrity of our courts it’s far past time for Republicans to drop their partisan tactics and put patriotism before party.”
According to reports, the sponsor of the press conference today, the Judicial Crisis Network, has deep and unseemly ties to third party groups spending to elect conservatives in state judicial elections, including the notorious Wisconsin Club for Growth. Read more here.
For its part the state big corporate special interest lobby, the WMC, has partnered with Wisconsin Club for Growth and other to spend at least $8 million on to install jurists disposed to side with them and Scott Walker in disputes on the state high court. WMC went so far as to engineer a rewrite of conflict of interest standards to clear the way for the judges on whom they spent massively to elect to sit on cases in which they were involved, a move panned by leading judicial ethicists.