Reality Check: Third party ad takes sides in Supreme Court fight

Reality Check: Third party ad takes sides in Supreme Court fight

The fight over a supreme court nominee has spilled into the Wisconsin race for U.S. Senate.

An ad by a conservative group is trying to rally support behind Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, who has been vocal about his resistance to a new supreme court nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.

“It’s ‘We the people’ and sometimes the politicians forget that,” the ad says.  “The supreme court has a vacancy and your vote in November is your only voice.  Sen. Ron Johnson agrees, the American people should decide.”

News 3 finds it’s true that Johnson has said since the death of Justice Scalia that President Barack Obama should not nominate a replacement and if he did that the Republican majority would decline to confirm that nominee. Democrats, including former Sen. Russ Feingold, who is challenging Johnson for the seat, feel differently.  They believe the president is constitutionally obligated to nominate a justice and Congress should work to confirm the nominee to prevent court cases this year from ending in a tie.

“This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, it’s about your voice,” the ad says. 

News 3 finds this is misleading.  This entire fight is very much about Republicans and democrats and the ideology they keep.  In fact, Johnson and other Republicans have argued specifically that the entire reason that they want to block a supreme court nomination is that Obama may appoint a liberal-leaning justice who would have a lifetime appointment.  They would rather the decision is left to the next president and Congress in the hopes that a Republican president may be elected.

Finally, you should know who is paying for this ad. The Judicial Crisis Network is a conservative organization headed by a former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas. They say they’re “dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice in America”.  The group is not required to disclose its donors.

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