MADISON, Wis. — U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has been front and center with Washington D.C. Republicans refusing to do their jobs on President Obama’s nominee to the U. S. Supreme Court. Johnson has attempted to excuse his unprecedented gridlock claiming President Obama, serving a four year term won with the votes of 65 million Americans, should not make a nomination as required by the U.S. Constitution, instead waiting until after the next election to fill the court vacancy. With right-wing state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser’s abrupt, mid-term retirement One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if Johnson will also advise Gov. Scott Walker to wait until after the next gubernatorial election to fill the state vacancy.
“Ron Johnson has publicly told the President of the United States, elected with 65 million votes, he ought to ignore the constitutional duties of the office and not make a nomination to the nation’s highest court,” said Ross. “If he won’t give the same advice, to wait for the next election, to Gov. Walker then he’s once and for all revealed his refusal to do his job is all about partisan politics.”
He noted that Johnson’s obstructionism and refusal to do his job on federal court nominees is not restricted to just the U.S. Supreme Court. While not meeting with President Obama’s high court nominee and saying he does not believe he and his fellow Republican Senators ought to do their job and hold timely hearings and a fair vote Johnson has also engineered the longest federal court vacancy in the nation.
The federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has been without a full complement of judges since 2010 because, upon entering office, Johnson first obstructed the nominating process and then delayed consideration of nominees. Johnson’s intransigence, stretching nearly six full years, has meant decisions in critical federal cases, like on Wisconsin’s voter ID law were left deadlocked.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, the divisive and intemperate activist Republican Justice David Prosser has abruptly announced he will be stepping down in the middle of his ten year term, creating a vacancy on the court which Gov. Walker could fill with a nomination.
Walker’s only previous appointment to a state high court slot, Rebecca Bradley, raised serious questions about the governor’s competence in judicial selection and vetting. The controversial crony pick was roundly criticized for appalling writings in which she denigrated members of the LGBTQ community and AIDS victims, suggested women were responsible for date rape, and equated birth control with murder. She was also rated “unqualified” by pluralities of legal professionals surveyed by local bar associations.
Ross concluded, “If anyone should have to wait to fill a judicial vacancy until after the next election it’s Scott Walker and if anyone should tell him to do so it should be Ron Johnson. But as we’ve seen time and again with these two, it’s partisan politics before doing their jobs.”