Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Press Release

A Bad Start To The Week For Senator Ron Johnson

Senator Johnson had a rough start to the week with four opinion pieces coming out blasting him for his irresponsible decision to not give any Supreme Court nominee a hearing and vote.

By - Feb 29th, 2016 02:52 pm

MADISON – Senator Ron Johnson had a rough start to the week with four opinion pieces coming out blasting him for his irresponsible decision to not give any Supreme Court nominee a hearing and vote. Senator Johnson has the right to vote down a nominee, but it is wrong and irresponsible to not even give President Obama a chance to pick someone to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. This sort of obstructionism will leave the highest court in our land gridlocked for nearly a year and is an insult to the people of Wisconsin who deserve better than a Senator who won’t do his job.

Just take a look at what the opinion sections of newspapers across Wisconsin had to say on this issue:

From the Wisconsin State Journal: But rejecting Barack Obama’s nominee before that person is even identified is unfair and irresponsible. It risks a prolonged vacancy, causing high court dysfunction if 4-4 votes occur.

From the Journal Sentinel: To live up to the original understanding of the Constitution that they purport to prize, the Senate Republicans should recognize that the Constitution neither forbids the president from making appointments during the last year of his term nor allows the Senate to outright ignore nominations and hold nominees hostage. They also should recognize that while the Constitution empowers the Senate to prevent an unfit person from sitting on our Supreme Court, it does not give senators license to vote against confirmation of a fit nominee with a judicial philosophy different from their own.

From the Gazette Extra: Polls have clearly shown Americans (and Wisconsin citizens specifically) supporting moving ahead, rejecting our Sen. Ron Johnson’s unwillingness to fairly uphold his mandated responsibilities here. This inaction cheats us out of our rightful opportunity to have judicial decisions adequately considered, leaving this critical judicial seat empty for a year.

From the Green Bay Press Gazette: Continued Republican obstructionism is not in the party’s nor the country’s best interest. I encourage Johnson, and all senators, to honor Scalia’s memory by honoring the Constitution he loved so dearly.

If Senator Johnson needs a history lesson on how his obstructionism reeks of partisanship and goes against the history of Presidents being given a chance to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, he should read the Washington Post article that said “President Obama countered that he would perform his constitutional duty and nominate a successor to Scalia, adding, “Your job doesn’t stop until you are voted out or until your term expires.” The historical record supports that position: 14 presidents have appointed 21 justices during presidential election years. A half-dozen presidents, classic lame ducks, filled Supreme Court seats even though their successors had been elected”. Regardless of their party, Senators have been responsible and done their jobs during Presidential elections years, it’s time for Ron Johnson to do his.

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