U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is siding with many of his fellow Republicans in calling for delaying the Supreme Court nomination process until after the November presidential election.
Following the death over the weekend of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers should wait until voters have had a chance to weigh in before naming a replacement. Many Republicans have backed that position, while Democrats have accused GOP lawmakers of ignoring their constitutional duty in the hopes of a favorable election outcome.
In an interview with WRN on Monday, Sen. Johnson said he was standing by leadership. “We’re at kind of a unique point in time here. We’ve got about eight months before the election, there will be a new president, the voters will decide the direction the country will take…I think it’s pretty reasonable to really put the direction of the Supreme Court in their hands as well.”
AUDIO: Sen. Ron Johnson backs delaying the nomination process (:46)
Johnson is facing reelection in November against Democrat Russ Feingold, whom the freshman lawmaker unseated in the 2010 race. Feingold on Monday called Johnson and the GOP “irresponsible” for refusing to fill the open seat until possibly next year.
Johnson noted that if Obama does offer a nominee, he has no control over how it will be handled by the majority. “I don’t control the process,” he said. However, if a nominee does come to the floor, he does plan to vote. “I’ll cast my vote, I’ll fulfill my responsibility,” he said.