• WisPolitics


Monday, March 14, 2016

 10:13 AM 

Johnson signs off on forwarding appeals court nomination

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has signed off on forwarding the appeals court nomination of Don Schott as the Oshkosh Republican and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin continued to trade shots over judicial vacancies. 

Dems have been hitting Johnson for saying the Senate shouldn't take up an expected nomination from President Obama to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia following his death. That picked up after Johnson told a radio show last week the dynamics would be different if a conservative president were nominating Scalia's replacement. 

Baldwin, D-Madison, last week called on Johnson "to end his partisan obstruction and do his job." At a WisPolitics.com breakfast in DC she said five of six members of the nominating panel favored Schott and said it was time to move forward on the longest standing federal court vacancy in the country. 

In a column that ran over the weekend, Johnson laid out his perspective over the vacancy on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and touched on the Supreme Court opening as well. 

He wrote Baldwin "blew up this process" in May for the 7th Circuit by sending the White House a list of candidates for the appeals court outside of the process the two had established. He also suggested politics was at play because she did so less than a week before Russ Feingold announced plans to challenge him. 

Johnson wrote he has signed the blue slip for Schott, a Madison attorney, to recommend the Judiciary Committee consider his nomination. While calling Schott a "person of integrity," Johnson also noted he has no judicial experience and has made donations to Baldwin, Feingold and Obama. 

"Baldwin's partisan decision to blow up our bipartisan process, and the White House's foot-dragging have put Schott's nomination in jeopardy," Johnson wrote. "Throw in the politics that have unnecessarily erupted over the Supreme Court vacancy, and the outcome is impossible to predict." 

Johnson also wrote he has recommended the White House should nominate Milwaukee County Judge Richard Sankovitz for a recent vacancy on the Eastern District Court. 

Baldwin spokesman John Kraus said Johnson is "obviously feeling the pressure of his own partisan obstruction. 

"Instead ‎of offering excuses and playing a political blame game he should simply take responsibility for doing his own job as he was elected to do," Kraus said. 

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson also weighed in on the Supreme Court vacancy during his appearance on "UpFront with Mike Gousha," saying the Senate should vote on a nomination. See more on that below. 

See Johnson's column: 
http://bit.ly/24VvmJy 

See Baldwin's Friday statement: 
https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/press-releases/baldwin-scotus-statement 

See a report on Baldwin's talk to the WisPolitics.com DC breakfast: 
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=366090 


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