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Fact Checkers Find Paul Ryan Wrong on SCOTUS Nomination PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 09:34

antonin-scaliaFact checkers dig into history behind Speaker Paul Ryan’s statement that there is precedent for not nominating a justice in a presidential campaign. History shows Presidents have always been able to nominate someone.

MADISON – Last week, fact checkers dug into the history behind Speaker Paul Ryan’s statement that there is a precedent for the President not to nominate someone to the Supreme Court during an election year. They found this statement to be completely false and history shows Presidents have always been able to nominate someone. Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues like Ron Johnson are playing partisan politics and virtually leaving the Supreme Court locked 4-4.

paul_ryanPaul Ryan and Ron Johnson are playing partisan politics and leaving the Supreme Court deadlocked on critical issues like women’s health care, voting access, and the rights of workers to organize.

Read exerts of the article below

Ten days after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, House Speaker Paul Ryan entered the debate on whether Scalia’s successor should be chosen before or after Barack Obama leaves the Oval Office.

The Democratic president has the right to submit a nominee before he departs in January 2017, said the Wisconsin Republicanappearing Feb. 23, 2016 on CNBC’s "Squawk Box."

But the GOP-controlled Senate, Ryan added, has the right not to move the nomination forward and instead await a nomination from the next president.
Then co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked: "Should you look at whoever gets nominated on the merits of who they are, or simply on the politics of the moment?"

"We are in the politics of the moment, which is we are in the middle of a presidential election," Ryan said, referring to the early 2016 primaries and caucuses. "We’ve already had South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa. We’re knee-deep in a presidential election.

"There’s a reason for having this tradition of not nominating somebody in the middle of a presidential election, because it gets so political. I agree with that precedent, and there is a precedent for that."


Our rating

Ryan said: "There is a precedent" for not nominating someone to the U.S. Supreme Court "in the middle of a presidential election.’

It’s rare for a Supreme Court vacancy to occur during a presidential election year -- the last time was in 1940, although there were also two election-year nominations in 1968.

But we could find no instances in which a president faced with a Supreme Court vacancy during a presidential election year did not make a nomination. It occurred five times between 1912 and 1940, and each time the nominee was confirmed.

We rate Ryan’s statement False.

Sen. Ron Johnson Should Break Ranks on Court Nominee PDF Print E-mail
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
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.

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