MADISON, Wis. — The wrong nominee, selected in the wrong way, being given a hearing in the wrong way. That’s how One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher summed up the scheduled committee hearing for Michael Brennan’s nomination to fill a seat on the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. Amid continuing concerns with the federal government shutting down and after seven years of GOP obstructionism and the destruction of Wisconsin’s decades long bipartisan judicial selection process, Brennan is scheduled to appear before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee committee on Wednesday January 24.
Eicher commented, “In Wisconsin we’ve seen firsthand the kinds of people and the repugnant views Michael Brennan thinks are acceptable for judges. It’s clear we can’t count on him to carry out the most basic functions of a judge on the federal bench treating everyone equally before the law.”
In 2015, as the head of Scott Walker’s Judicial Commission, Michael Brennan participated in recommending a judge for the Wisconsin Supreme Court with a decades long trail of hateful and out of touch writings.
As exposed by One Wisconsin Now, State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote a series of hateful screeds that derisively referred to members of the LGBTQ community as “queers” and “degenerates”, claimed “homosexual sex kills,” and mocked the AIDS epidemic. In another published opinion piece penned by Bradley, she compared birth control to murder and even endorsed legislation to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill legal prescriptions for birth control. She also endorsed the view that women are responsible for their own date rapes in her writings.
Brennan followed up that nomination by conducting a search to fill a state high court vacancy in 2016 that produced another controversial judicial selection. The nomination of Daniel Kelly put a lawyer for a major right wing foundation on the state high court who had previously equated affirmative action with slavery and who praised a homophobic rant deceased U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia attempted to pass off as a dissent in a 2015 case establishing marriage equality.
Eicher concluded,“Michael Brennan is the wrong nominee, selected in the wrong way. To top it off, his controversial hearing is being scheduled at the wrong time, amid questions about whether or not Republicans and Donald Trump can get their acts together and even accomplish the basics of running a government.”