Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spent much of a campaign stop in Madison Monday blasting Republicans for refusing to hold hearings or a vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, arguing that the obstructionism is “revealing the worst of our politics.”
Speaking to an invitation-only crowd on the UW-Madison campus, the former Secretary of State called out GOP leaders on their argument that acting on a nominee before the next presidential election would deny voters their voice in the process. “As one of the more than 65 million Americans who voted to re-elect Barack Obama, I’d say my voice is being ignored right now because of their obstructionism,” she said, while calling on majority Republicans to schedule a hearing and vote after they return from recess.
Clinton also singled out U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is running for re-election in November against Democrat Russ Feingold. She accused Johnson of “bragging” about blocking the nominee, and urged the crowd to call the Senator and tell him to “stop playing games with the Supreme Court.”
Johnson has previously said he supports waiting until after the election, but has said he would vote on confirmation of a nominee if it came up on the floor of the Senate.
Clinton called on voters to “keep the court in mind” this spring and in November, even if they don’t support her in the presidential race. She pointed to a long list of cases over the years that have shaped the nation, on issues ranging from civil rights to abortion to campaign finance, as examples of why Democrats need to be wary of who is in the White House. Clinton noted that the next president could likely appoint at least two new justices, and pointed out that conservatives have known for years how high the stakes are when it comes to the judiciary. “They are fighting hard to make sure the Supreme Court includes as many right wing justices as possible,” she said.
Clinton’s stop in Madison marked her first appearance in Wisconsin of the campaign. She also stopped in Milwaukee on Monday, and has visits scheduled in La Crosse and Green Bay on Tuesday. Her Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, is also making numerous stops throughout the state this week, in the run up to Wisconsin’s April 5 presidential preference primary.