Sen. Tammy Baldwin is continuing to press Senate Republicans to fill the country's longest-standing federal appeals court vacancy before lawmakers go home at the end of the month.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted in June to advance the nomination of Madison attorney Donald Schott for an open seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. But the full Senate has yet to vote on his confirmation.
Baldwin said Tuesday on a call with reporters the open spot has traditionally been one held by a Wisconsin judge.
The court has heard cases involving women's health, collective bargaining, campaign finance, voter ID and same-sex marriage, Baldwin noted.
"These are really, really important issues and the people of Wisconsin deserve better than one of our Wisconsin seats being empty when these judgments are made, when these deliberations are had," she said.
The Democratic senator was joined on the call by One Wisconsin Now research director Jenni Dye and Legal Progress vice president Michele Jawando.
Schott was nominated by President Barack Obama in January. Both Baldwin and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson have been supportive of his nomination, but Baldwin has taken a more active role in nudging the process along.
Baldwin said Tuesday she has asked Johnson to join her in requesting a vote from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but he has declined to do so.
"Don Schott is behind a long list of judges awaiting their confirmation by the full Senate, and it is the tradition of the Senate to consider these judges in order," said Johnson spokesman Patrick McIlheran. "Sen. Johnson signaled his support for Schott by signing 'the blue slip,' moving Schott’s nomination forward. It is now in the hands of the majority and minority leaders."