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Sen. Ron Johnson Should Break Ranks on Court Nominee PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 February 2016 11:19

antonin-scaliaThe hubris of Johnson, McConnell and the others is stunning. The political game they are playing is cynical. Their refusal to even consider a nominee shows the party fears the very public it claims to serve. It is a new brand of cynicism that shows little respect for the office of president or the Supreme Court. And little faith in the Constitution.


MADISON - As Senate Republicans stand in an unbroken line of opposition to even the thought of considering a nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is standing right there with them.

The senator and his colleagues, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have vowed to obstruct President Barack Obama's wishes no matter what.

ron-johnsonEarlier this week, Republican Senate leaders confirmed that they will not hold confirmation hearings, will not vote, will not even meet with Obama's nominee. Johnson confirmed Wednesday that he's going to hold that line as well.

The hubris of Johnson and his colleagues is stunning. The political game they are playing is cynical. Their strategy is to take their chances after the new administration takes office, fearing that any Obama nominee will tip the balance of the 5-4 conservative majority on the high court the other way.

We acknowledge their concerns. But they should still hold hearings and give Obama's nominee a fair shake.

Their refusal to do even the bare minimum shows the party fears the very public it claims to serve. If Obama nominates a well-qualified moderate jurist, Republicans know they will look bad in the eyes of many voters — particularly independents — if they don't confirm the nominee after hearings.

So there can be no hearings. And no vote.

For Johnson and McConnell and the others, this is a new brand of cynicism in a city wallowing in it. It shows little respect for the office of president or the Supreme Court.

And little faith in the Constitution.

A president is elected to a four-year term, not a three-year term. That president is not a "lame duck," by all normal definitions, until after the November election in his last year in office. The Constitution prescribes a process: The president nominates. The Senate offers advice and consent.

Republicans continue to say: Let the voters decide, but the voters already have decided. They twice elected Obama to the presidency. To not even consider a nominee is dereliction of duty.

In the early stages of his re-election bid, Johnson is trailing badly behind former Sen. Russ Feingold. The latest Marquette University Law School Poll, released Thursday afternoon, showed 49% favoring Feingold and 37% favoring Johnson.

Overall, 57% said they would be willing to see their senator vote for a well-qualified nominee rather than "vote against any nominee you disagree with." About 63% of independents felt that way, the poll found.

As might be expected, there were stark differences between the views of Republicans and Democrats.

The Johnson-Feingold race is in its early stages, and much will happen between now and November. But Johnson might improve his chances with independents by showing that he's his own man. He should break ranks with the other obstructionists in the GOP-controlled Senate and come out in favor of Senate hearings and a vote.

This also has the advantage of being the right thing to do.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2016 11:40
 
Follow the Money on GOP SCOTUS Obstruction PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:44

money-behind-politicsWASHINGTON, DC - Senate Leader Mitch McConnell declared yesterday that the Senate will not act on the president's Supreme Court nominee, and every single Republican member of the Judiciary Committee signed a letter saying that they would not even hold hearings at all this year.

Let's be clear: This isn't the Senate exercising its right to provide or withhold consent -- it's partisan obstruction, plain and simple.

Why are Republicans so terrified of even holding a hearing on a SCOTUS nominee? Just follow the money.

Last week, Republican senators like Susan Collins, Thom Tillis, and even Chuck Grassley opened the door to considering the president's nominee. Then the Koch brothers' network swooped right in to slam that door shut -- "Outside Groups Warn GOP: Don't Even Think About Holding A SCOTUS Hearing," Talking Points Memo, 2‌‌/1‌8‌/20‌‌16 -- leaving no doubt about who's really calling the shots in the Republican Senate caucus.

Would the new justice oppose oil and gas regulations? And would the new justice hold companies like Koch Industries accountable, or rubber-stamp their every wish? Unfortunately, these questions are driving Republicans in their decision-making, not motives like adhering to the Constitution.

A Koch puppet group is even responsible for a seven-figure ad buy called "Let the people decide," that supports Senator Ron Johnson and other Senate Republicans in their obstruction.

The people decided when they elected President Obama -- twice. It's now his job to nominate a new justice.

Our democracy shouldn't be held hostage by the demands of the billionaire class. But that's exactly what's happening. Enough is enough.

***

Tell Senate Republicans: Do your job! Give fair consideration to President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

 
Where Does Duffy Stand On SCOTUS Nominee? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:29

antonin-scaliaWisconsinites Deserve to Know Where Rep. Sean Duffy Stands On GOP Obstruction To SCOTUS Nominee


MADISON - In the days following the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans like Senator Ron Johnson and Speaker Paul Ryan immediately joined the likes of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in favoring a delay in nominating a justice to the a Supreme Court until after President Obama leaves office. It’s been almost two weeks since the vacancy was made on the highest court in the land and Congressman Sean Duffy - an expert in Congressional obstruction tactics - is yet to take a stand on the issue.

Standard-bearers of Wisconsin’s extreme right-wing ilk instantly sought to politicize the vacancy on the high court after news of Justice Scalia death made headlines. Senator Ron Johnson issued a statement the next day demanding that President Obama not pick a nominee until after the presidential elections in November. Speaker Ryan followed suit, even disclosing that Republicans were trying to create the spin on the issue to benefit their side politically.

After two weeks of members of the extreme right-wing coalescing around obstructing the process of selecting a Supreme Court Justice, Rep. Sean Duffy is a glaring omission amongst the Congressional Republicans who have taken a stand on the issue.

Congressman Duffy voted to shut down the government in 2013. If he stands with the likes of Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell on this issue, then also he supports crippling the one branch of the federal government that is supposed to be above the fray of politics - for over a year.

The President has a constitutional responsibility to nominate a Supreme Court Justice, and the Senate has an obligation to vote on that nominee. A quick glance at history reveals that the Senate has not previously shirked its responsibility to confirm Supreme Court Justices in an election year. In fact, since 1900, six Supreme Court Justices have been confirmed in a presidential election year. To put it simply, Congress can and should confirm a nominee or risk compromising a fundamental part of American democracy.

“As someone who has taken the lead in ushering in an era of obstruction and dysfunction in Congress over the last six years, Rep. Sean Duffy must let the voters know where he stands on filling the current vacancy on the Supreme Court,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Kory Kozloski said on Wednesday. “Duffy’s government shutdown allies like Sen. Ron Johnson have said they won’t even meet with a Supreme Court nominee. Wisconsinites deserve to know if the Congressman agrees.”

 
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