History will record that Wisconsin's Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Trump, split on the question of whether to approve President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh, a Bush-administration political fixer who lacks the temperament to serve on the highest court in the land, should never have been considered. And after it became clear that Kavanaugh had lied repeatedly to the Senate over the years, it became clear that no honest senator could vote to confirm him.
Baldwin recognized this and, despite the fact that she was in the midst of an intense re-election race, she took a firm stand against the Kavanaugh nomination.
Unfortunately, despite accusations of abusive acts committed by the nominee (including the powerful testimony of professor Christine Blasey Ford to the Senate Judiciary Committee), a dishonest and irresponsible majority of Republicans in the U.S. Senate put Kavanaugh on the court. Johnson was part of that majority, and he shamed himself and his state. Among the many reasons for removing him from office, this vote belongs at the top of the list.
That fact was driven home by revelations contained in a new book, "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. The book provides extensive evidence of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh at Yale — including corroborating evidence for allegations from Deborah Ramirez regarding an incident the nominee sought to deny and dismiss during Senate Judiciary Committee questioning. The reporters write: "During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been 'the talk of campus.' Our reporting suggests that it was."
Critics of the Kavanaugh nomination pleaded with senators to take more time to investigate whether Trump’s pick was telling the truth. Instead, Ron Johnson and his colleagues rushed to judgment. We do not know how Sen. Johnson can look at himself in the mirror. But we do know that the voters of Wisconsin should be wary of this reckless and destructive partisan.
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