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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

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Sen. Ron Johnson on Michael Brennan 7th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin) 08/04/17
A bipartisan state commission has made recommendations to Wisconsin's two senators on federal nominations since 1979. The senators take the commission's picks and forward them on to the White House for consideration. The six-member commission issued another call for applicants for the 7th Circuit opening in February. None of the applicants, including Brennan, garnered the requisite five votes to win a recommendation.... Johnson issued a statement praising Trump for choosing Brennan. "Our nation's judicial system will be well served once he is confirmed by the Senate," the statement said. A Johnson spokesman didn't immediately reply to a question about Baldwin's criticism of the pick breaking with Wisconsin tradition.

Sen. Ron Johnson: WISCONSIN SENATORS RENEW AGREEMENT ON WISCONSIN JUDICIAL COMMISSION AND CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR U.S. ATTORNEY VACANCIES
(Republican - Wisconsin) 02/13/17
Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson renewed their agreement establishing the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission to advance federal nominations, including vacant federal judgeships and U.S. Attorney positions in Wisconsin. This process has already led to the confirmation of James Peterson in the Western District of Wisconsin and Pamela Pepper in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Commission shall consist of six Wisconsinites who are members of the Wisconsin State Bar. Three members will be appointed by each Senator, who will each have a Co-Chair on the Commission. ... Applications for Wisconsin’s Seventh Circuit vacancy will be available on March 15, with applications due on April 29 and a recommendation to the Senators provided by July 13, 2017. Applications for the Eastern District Court vacancy will be available on April 29, with applications due on May 29, and a recommendation to the Senators provided on or before August 12, 2017. ... “This is the first step in filling important law enforcement and judicial vacancies in our state,” Senator Johnson said. “Wisconsinites deserve high quality legal minds to administer the law, and I encourage candidates who value fidelity to our Constitution and the rule of law to apply for these positions. This nomination process has worked well in the past, resulting in the confirmation of James Peterson and Pamela Pepper to the federal bench. I am confident it will work again in the future.”

Sen. Ron Johnson on Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin) 10/04/16
Regarding President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, Johnson said it is not up to him to bring his nomination to a vote. But, if the nomination was brought to the Senate, he would vote against Garland. “He has proven to be hostile to second amendment rights, and I want to fight to protect second amendment rights,” Johnson said.

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (Sept. 13, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Wisconsin) 09/13/16
Including all 16 Republican senators with nominees on the Senate Floor. Excerpts and links to Senator statements by state

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (Aug. 3, 2016) Including all 16 Republican senators with nominees on the Senate Floor
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Wisconsin) 08/03/16
Excerpts and links to Senator statements by state

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (July 19, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Wisconsin) 07/19/16

Sen. Ron Johnson on Donald Schott 7th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin) 07/14/16
The nomination had been holed up in the Senate Judiciary Committee until it passed out of that panel last month -- which came after Johnson blessed the move. Johnson spokesman Patrick McIlheran said with that step, Johnson "proactively moved the nomination forward" and showed he supports it. "He has taken absolutely no steps to block it," McIlheran said.

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 22, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/22/16

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 20, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/20/16

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 17, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/17/16

Sen. Ron Johnson on Judiciary Committee approval of Seventh Circuit nominee Don Schott
(Republican - Wisconsin) 06/16/16
President Obama nominated Schott in January after he received a majority vote from a special panel established by Wisconsin Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin. Johnson objected to Obama's first 7th Circuit nominee in 2010, but earlier this year, he cleared the way for Schott's nomination to proceed. “I signed the blue slip recommending that the Judiciary Committee consider the nomination of Don Schott, which it reported out favorably today," Johnson said Thursday. "I congratulate Mr. Schott on his nomination’s progress.”

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 16, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/16/16

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 2, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/02/16

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (May 23, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 05/23/16

Sen. Ron Johnson on Senate Judiciary Committee May 18th hearing on Donald Schott 7th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin) 05/12/16
"I signed the blue slip for Don Schott, recommending that the Judiciary Committee consider the nomination, which they are now doing," Johnson said via email

Republican Senators from 14 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, ID, IN, KS, NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (May 4, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 05/04/16

Republican Senators from 13 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, ID, IN, KS, NE, ND, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (April 21, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 04/21/16

Sen. Ron Johnson applies different standards to SCOTUS, appeals court nominees
(Republican - Wisconsin) 04/18/16
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has repeatedly said he doesn't think any U.S. Supreme Court nominee put forth by the Obama administration should be confirmed in such a contentious election year, but he is not applying that same standard to a lower court nominee from Wisconsin. A Wisconsin-designated seat on the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has been vacant since 2010 ... We both filled out and filed our blue slips and you need two blue slips to move a nomination forward," said Sen. Baldwin, referring to a procedural move regarding judicial appointments. Both Senators sent those blue slips to the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicating their approval of President Obama's January nomination of Madison Attorney Don Schott. While Sen. Johnson supports Schott's election-year appointment, he takes a much different position on Obama's Supreme Court nominee - D-C Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland. "Two totally different courts, first of all," Sen. Johnson told 27 News last Friday. "You have district court, you have appellate court, then you have the Supreme Court of the land. That's where the decision is final." ... While Sen. Baldwin has asked Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to hold a hearing and vote on Don Schott's confirmation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Sen. Johnson told 27 News he will let Sen. Grassley make his own decision on that.

Republican Senators from 13 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, ID, IN, KS, NE, ND, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (April 14, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 04/14/16

Republican Home-State Senators Urge Immediate Action on Federal Judicial Nominees Pending in April 2016 (ID, IN, KS, NE, ND, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, WI)
(Republican - Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Wisconsin) 04/06/16

Republican Home-State Senators Urge Immediate Action on Federal Judicial Nominees Pending in March 2016 (IN, KS, NE, ND, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, WI)
(Republican - Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Wisconsin) 03/23/16

[Sen. Ron] Johnson Won't Block Obama Appeals Court Nominee
(Republican - Wisconsin) 03/14/16
"Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he will allow an appointment to Wisconsin's Federal Court of Appeals to move forward, even as he digs in his heels to block any appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Barack Obama nominated Madison attorney Donald K. Schott to Chicago's 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in January to fill the longest-standing federal appeals court vacancy in the country. ... Senate rules give Johnson the power to effectively veto Schott's nomination, but late last week, Johnson gave his OK. He was asked whether Republican senators would be moving forward with other judicial nominations while they continue to block any U.S. Supreme Court nominee. "All I can do is my part," Johnson said. "I think I've demonstrated a very bipartisan approach.""

Sen. Johnson: Cooperation only goes so far with Sen. Tammy Baldwin
(Republican - Wisconsin) 03/11/16
"The White House waited eight months, until Jan. 12, 2016, to nominate Don Schott. By all accounts, Schott is a well-respected and well-qualified attorney — but with no experience as a judge. He has made political contributions to Feingold and Baldwin and to Obama. I have interviewed Schott and reviewed his FBI file. He comes highly recommended as a person of integrity, and I have "signed the blue slip" to recommend that the Judiciary Committee consider him. Baldwin's partisan decision to blow up our bipartisan process, and the White House's foot-dragging have put Schott's nomination in jeopardy. Throw in the politics that have unnecessarily erupted over the Supreme Court vacancy, and the outcome is impossible to predict. I also have recommended to the White House that Obama should nominate the other qualified candidate, Richard Sankovitz, to fill the vacancy that recently opened on the Eastern District Court. I sincerely hope the president accepts my recommendation. I do not control the process for either the appeals court or Supreme Court vacancies. Those decisions are under the jurisdiction of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ... The advice of the Senate Republican majority is to let the American people decide the composition of the Supreme Court. Instead of a lame duck president and Senate nominating and confirming, a new president and Senate — elected by the people only a few months from now — should make that important decision."

Sen. Ron Johnson on filling Supreme Court and Wisconsin Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacancies
(Republican - Wisconsin) 03/03/16
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is standing by his position that the next president should nominate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement, despite poll results indicating most Wisconsin voters disagree. "I’m a pretty principled guy," Johnson said at an event in Madison on Wednesday. "I mean what I say."... Johnson, however, defended his position as "imminently reasonable." "We know what the result would be," he said. "I think it’s pretty obvious, the type of justice that President (Barack) Obama would nominate." He pointed to Obama’s appointments of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan as examples of the president’s preference for what Johnson called "super legislators" for the bench, rather than judges. ... In a letter (link is external) made public Tuesday, 48 professors from Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin law schools urged Johnson to allow the appointment of Donald K. Schott to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to move forward.... Fallone, who lost a race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2013, said the letter was not intended as an attack on Johnson and that he did not believe Johnson planned to block Schott's nomination. Johnson, however, left that option open in brief comments to reporters in Madison. He blamed Baldwin for endangering Schott's nomination when she forwarded his name to the president without Johnson's consent. "She violated the confidentiality of the process and really put that 7th Circuit nominee at risk," Johnson said. However, he also called Schott "a good man."

Sen. Ron Johnson on filling the Scalia Supreme Court vacancy
(Republican - Wisconsin) 02/17/16
"I strongly agree that the American people should decide the future direction of the Supreme Court by their votes for president and the majority party in the U.S. Senate," Johnson said in a statement Sunday.... "Leader McConnell came out literally, within, I'm not even sure he took an hour, maybe two hours. And then Sen. Grassley, who's chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which would be the first hurdle any nominee would have to go through. And then Sen. Orrin Hatch also. All three came out basically saying the same thing," Johnson said in an interview with radio host Vicki McKenna. Johnson was a bit more defensive about his comments during a radio interview Tuesday on "The Jerry Bader Show," trying to justify blocking a nominee and saying he'd be open to voting on someone. "Maybe I haven't quite heard exactly what Leader McConnell or Sen. Grassley has said, but ... from what I've heard and what I've also said is, our advice is that ... when the American people are going to be deciding the direction of the country, we should let them decide the direction of the Supreme Court as well," he said. "I've never said that I wouldn't vote, or that we shouldn't vote. ... I have no idea how the process plays out, I'm not in control of it. I'm not the majority leader, I'm not chairman of the Judiciary. By the time I would actually take the vote, if it comes to that, I'll take a vote," he added. In another interview Tuesday, as reported by ThinkProgress, Johnson also said he'd be open to an up-or-down vote on a nominee. "So put it up for a vote and vote an individual down," he said when radio host John Howell said Republicans might look like "petulant children" if they don't vote. "I don’t think there’s much of a difference one way or another."

Sen. Johnson Comments on Judge Randa Move
(Republican - Wisconsin) 02/05/16
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said this upon the announcement that U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa will take senior status in the Eastern District of Wisconsin: “Judge Randa is a true public servant and patriot. I appreciate his thoughtful opinions and judgments that always seek to apply the law, not rewrite it. I am pleased that the Eastern District of Wisconsin will continue to get the benefit of his service as he transitions to senior status on the bench.”

Sen. Ron Johnson Responds to Judicial Nomination of Donald K. Schott
(Republican - Wisconsin) 01/12/16
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) responded Tuesday to news of the nomination of Donald Karl Schott of Madison to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit. Johnson said this: "While I remain disappointed that the process that resulted in the successful confirmation of two district court's judges was short-circuited in the case of Mr. Schott's nomination, I will review this appointment thoroughly and fairly. Until a candidate is nominated by the White House, his background check by the FBI is not made available to senators. Now that Mr. Schott has been nominated, I plan to review his file and conduct other appropriate vetting before making any determinations."

Sen. Ron Johnson on judicial nominations
(Republican - Wisconsin) 06/02/15
When speaking about the nominations for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals – a position open since 2010 – Johnson told the Star-Times he has been working with Democrats and President Obama. “I’ve been very supportive of President Obama’s nominations to fill his administration and his nominations,” Johnson said.... Johnson said much of the blame belongs to Baldwin. “They are highly qualified, all of them, but for whatever reasons the commission didn’t believe some had the qualifications or temperament for a 7th Circuit judge,” Johnson said. “They shouldn’t be humiliated in the public and that’s exactly what Senator Baldwin has put on those individuals. I think it’s shameful.” He said he contacted the White House and is willing to agree on sending forward the names of the two people the commission agreed upon. He said Baldwin broke a contract with the other senators when she forwarded all eight names.

Sen. Ron Johnson would only consider backing two candidates for court vacancy
(Republican - Wisconsin) 05/22/15
Johnson said Friday that he is trying to salvage a nominating process he says was derailed by his Wisconsin colleague, Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. ... Johnson says he was willing to consider just the two names but says Baldwin wasn't.... "Senator Baldwin has put this process in compete turmoil," Johnson said in an interview Friday. "I think it's designed precisely to make it look like I'm trying to block an appointment to the 7th Circuit and nothing could be further from the truth. ... I'm not obstructing anything." ... Johnson noted that six of the eight fell short of the required votes, and said at least one received no votes from the nominating commission. "The only two I would even begin to consider are ones that cleared the (five-vote) hurdle," said Johnson, who added he hasn't promised his support for those two because they haven't completed the regular vetting process in his own office.