Thanks a lot, Ron Johnson: Supreme Court Issues First 4-4 Tie Since Passing of Justice Scalia
What all reasonable Americans feared would happen as a result of Sen. Ron Johnson’s Supreme Court obstruction finally came to fruition yesterday afternoon, as the United States Supreme Court issued its first 4-4 deadlock since Justice Scalia’s passing.
Sen. Johnson has expressed zero concern for this kind of scenario, claiming, “If the court is deadlocked, there’s nothing guaranteed about a 4-4 split on a particular issue, then the ruling of the lower court stands.”  Yesterday’s outcome leaves in place a lower court ruling that the bank did not discriminate against the two women, and also means the Supreme Court failed to resolve a pair of conflicting lower court rulings on the question.
Instead of worrying about the very real possibility of a deadlocked court, Sen. Johnson is more concerned with a Democratic President nominating a replacement to the high court, saying that he is “concerned about changing the composition of the court to go 5-4 liberal.”  President Obama’s nominee, Justice Merrick Garland, was supported by seven Republican Senators when confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1997.
Throughout our country’s history, the Senate has repeatedly confirmed Justices to the Supreme Court in the final year of a president’s term – including times when the Presidency and the Senate were controlled by different parties. At least 14 Justices have been confirmed during a presidential election year.
Sen. Johnson’s unnecessary obstruction weakens the Supreme Court and compromises a fundamental part of American democracy.
“If Sen. Ron Johnson won’t do his job and vote on the President’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, then we will see more gridlock like this on the nation’s high court,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Kory Kozloski on Wednesday. “Unless Sen. Johnson’s goal is to make the Supreme Court as dysfunctional as the Republican-controlled Congress, he should do the job Wisconsinites elected him to do.”
Johnson Was Not Concerned About The Possibility Of The Supreme Court Being Deadlocked For Over A Year Because The Lower Court Ruling Would Stand. Johnson spoke about the possibility of tied votes on the Supreme Court until a new president took office: “If the court is deadlocked, there’s nothing guaranteed about a 4-4 split on a particular issue, then the ruling of the lower court stands. So again, rather than have a lame duck president decide or, quite honestly, a lame duck Republican Senate decide, let’s let the American people decide the direction of the Supreme Court.” [WBAY, Action 10 News, 2/21/16]