MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Institute today delivered petitions with over 6,300 citizen signatures to U.S. Ron Johnson, calling on him to do his job and hold a timely hearing and fair vote on President Obama’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Johnson is standing with his Washington D.C. Republican colleagues in their unprecedented refusal to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the nation’s highest court. His intransigence on federal judicial nominees has also resulted in the longest federal court vacancy in the nation.
“Our courts matter and our Supreme Court ought not be held hostage for a year because of politically motivated obstructionism,” said One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher. “When Ron Johnson refuses to do his job, our courts can’t do theirs. And that means people in Wisconsin and across the nation are being denied justice.”
The petition circulated by organizations in the Why Courts Matter Coalition in Wisconsin notes that, “The American people ought not be forced to suffer the consequences of justice delayed and denied because of an unprecedented partisan political power play.” It goes on to call on Johnson to, “consider President Obama’s nominee and show respect for our United States Constitution, the Office of the President and the people of this country.”
Eicher noted that President Obama, elected to a four year term of office with over 65 million votes nationally and 1.6 million in Wisconsin, has done his duty in nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the Senate Historian, no Supreme Court nominee has ever been denied a confirmation hearing unless the nominee voluntarily withdrew from consideration. It has been 51 days since President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Wisconsin already experienced the consequences of Johnson’s judicial obstructionism on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals when a decision in a critical case on Wisconsin’s voter ID law was left deadlocked.
She concluded, “It’s a simple clear message from thousands of citizens to Ron Johnson, it’s time for him to stop the partisanship and start doing his job.”