MADISON, Wis. — After a lengthy summer recess Sen. Ron Johnson and the U.S. Senate are scheduled to return to work today. But the question is: will he do his job?
Johnson has stood with fellow Washington D.C. Republicans in an unprecedented refusal to give a fair hearing and vote to Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today is the 175th day since Judge Garland was nominated. Previously, a Supreme Court nominee has never had to wait longer than 125 days for a confirmation vote. Since the 1980s, every person appointed to the Supreme Court has been given a prompt hearing and vote within 100 days. In fact, 17 Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during an election year, including current Justice Kennedy, a nominee of President Reagan, who was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988, a presidential election year.
In addition the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Wisconsin, has the longest running vacancy in the nation. Sen. Johnson has been a central figure in the obstruction that has left it without a full complement of judges. It has been 2,549 days since the vacancy in 7th Circuit was announced and the nominee has still not been granted a confirmation vote in the full Senate, controlled by Sen. Johnson and his fellow majority Republicans.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Institute Research Director and attorney Jenni Dye:
“Sen. Ron Johnson might be showing up for work today, but there’s no sign of him doing his job.
“Our courts matter and we need our federal courts to be fully functional because that is where we turn to ensure people are treated equally and our rights are protected.
“The longer Sen. Johnson plays politics and delays doing his job to end the judicial vacancy crisis, the longer our federal courts will be hamstrung in doing their job, providing justice and protecting people’s rights.”