• WisPolitics


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

 8:22 AM 

Baldwin, Johnson at odds over judicial vacancy

U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson continue to be at odds over the process to fill a vacancy on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Baldwin earlier this month sent the White House eight names to be considered for the spot formerly held by the late Terence Evans, drawing Johnson's ire. He in turn contacted the White House last week to say he would only support the two candidates who received the support of five of the six people serving on the commission he created with Baldwin to vet judicial candidates. 

"It is unfortunate that Senator Baldwin chose partisanship and politics over what is in the best interest of the people of Wisconsin," Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said. "However, I remain committed to the process that has been highly successful and I agree that, even with a decreasing caseload, it is time to fill the Seventh Circuit seat." 

Johnson encouraged Baldwin, D-Madison, and the White House "to take this recommendation seriously and to refrain from further obstruction of this process." 

Baldwin spokesman John Kraus accused Johnson of stalling efforts to fill the seat since he joined the Senate more than four years ago. 

Last year, the commission the two established selected eight applicants for interviews, and its charter calls for four to six finalists. But only two received the necessary support to become finalists. 

In December, Baldwin wrote the commissioners asking them to redouble their efforts to find four to six candidates. In January, the commissioners said they could only agree on two, and Baldwin sent the White House the names of all eight who were interviewed. 

The eight are: Timothy Burns, David Jones, Anne Kearney, Beth Kushner, David Lucey, Richard Sankovitz, Donald Schott and Dean Strang. 

"One thing is clear, there has been a court vacancy for 1,961 days and Senator Johnson seems content to stall the process," Kraus said. "Senator Baldwin believes it is important that action be taken to put a judge in place to serve. That is why she has sent to the White House eight finalists from the bipartisan commission." 

See the Johnson release: 
http://1.usa.gov/1JHlR6H 

See the Baldwin letter to the White House: 
http://wispolitics.com/1006/150525Baldwin.pdf


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