Senate candidate Ron Johnson maturing quicklyThe Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Craig Gilbert has more on Ron Johnson's intransigence. In a nutshell, Johnson wants to undo literally two years of work by the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission, and is moaning because he can't pick four instead of three members to the 12-member Commission. One minute Ron Johnson is saying nobody knows who Victoria Nourse is, and the next he's calling her "extreme."
— Wisconsin State Journal, 08/01/10
The current vacancy became effective on January 7, 2010, one year before Johnson became a Senator. The entire process devoted to filling the vacancy took place while Johnson was still shipping plastic from his federally funded rail spur and extolling the economic virtues of China.
Johnson campaigned on promises to cut government spending. Now he wants to waste another two years reviewing applicants for a position that became a judicial emergency on July 7 due to the number of case filings that have accumulated with the Seventh Circuit in the meantime.
The Federal Nominating Commission as constituted prior to Johnson's arrival in the Senate consisted of four members each chosen by Sen. Herb Kohl and former Sen. Russ Feingold, two chosen by the State Bar, and the deans of the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University law schools. Now Johnson tells the MJS he wants a re-do, and he wants to pick the four members in place of those chosen by Sen. Feingold.
Eleven applications to the vacancy were received by September, 2009, and two months later, six of those were presented to Obama. From those six, Obama selected Prof. Nourse. Apparently Ron Johnson wants us to believe that if he got to pick four members of the Commission, then the six prospective judges presented to Obama would be different, or else Obama would have selected a prospective judge more in keeping with Ron Johnson's comically harebrained views of the judiciary.*
Either of which scenario is nonsense, obviously. In fact if Obama had a sense of humor, he'd nominate Ron Johnson to the Seventh Circuit.
What Johnson is pulling is obstruction, pure and simple. He's crying like a baby because a vacancy on the court was announced, prospective candidates were solicited and reviewed by a committee of competent professionals, their recommendations were forwarded to the president, and the president made his nomination, all before Ron Johnson even arrived on the scene. Now Johnson wants to put it off until July, 2013.
And at the moment, Ron Johnson unilaterally will not even allow Prof. Nourse a hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a hearing from which Johnson could clearly stand to learn a great deal, including about the qualifications of the nominee, who Johnson declares either unknown or extreme, depending upon which day you ask him.
The Seventh Circuit presides over Illinois and Indiana as well, so those folks can also thank Sen. Ron Johnson for his pointless recalcitrance.
The Wisconsin seat Johnson is presenting them is his Wisconsin backside.
* With which Ron Johnson recently hired former MJS right-wing calumnist Patrick McIlheran — whose own views of the judiciary are not only equally harebrained but downright dishonest — to assist him.