President Donald Trump has nominated an ally of Gov. Scott Walker to a federal appeals court — and reignited a war over judicial appointments between Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin.
Trump appointed Brennan in August even though he had failed to win the support of five of the six members of a bi-partisan judicial nominating commission that Wisconsin's U.S. Senators have used for almost four decades to screen applicants for the state's federal judges.
Democrat Baldwin and Republican Johnson created a bipartisan commission to recommend federal judicial nominees. Candidates had to get support from five of the six members of the commission to receive its recommendation. Brennan did not make the cut.
Despite this fact, Trump is attempting to move Brennan’s nomination forward with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, withholding her "blue slip" on Brennan, effectively holding up his nomination. Traditionally, the Senate allows home-state senators to prevent nominations from advancing until they turn in that paperwork. Senate Republicans are considering changing those rules.
When Republican Sen. Ron Johnson refused to turn in his blue slip for Victoria Nourse, President Barack Obama's nomination for the same seat in 2010, Brennan supported the move.
He wrote, “[t]here are now two senators from Wisconsin from different political parties, so to exclude Johnson and those citizens who voted for him would be a purely partisan move.”
Brennan is a founding member of Milwaukee's chapter of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group that has advised Trump on court nominations and has chaired a committee that advises Gov. Scott Walker on his selections to fill open state court judicial openings.
Brennan’s record and writings indicate that he holds a singularly troubling belief: that conservative judges should not follow precedents they disagree with.
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel