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As I See It

Longest judicial vacancy finally about to be filled

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Finally, the nation’s longest standing judicial vacancy could be filled. But it should have been done long ago, and it shouldn’t be done this way. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has had a vacant seat since 2009. No court in the nation has had a seat open for that long. The 7th Circuit court covers Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. A vote in Washington this week could end that vacancy. The Senate Majority Leader has scheduled what is referred to as a cloture vote for this week, meaning debate on the nominations would be cut off. That would clear the way for Milwaukee attorney Michael Brennan to fill that seat, an appointment for life. Brennan was nominated by President Trump after two previous nominees by President Obama failed to receive a vote in the Senate. The Brennan nomination bypasses a tradition that several republicans, including Brennan, defended when Obama nominated candidates they didn’t like. Once again, they are ignoring the rules to further their own interests. Nominating federal judges should not be a partisan game. Senators should, without delay, hold nomination hearings for appointed judicial candidates. And they should do so without regard to who nominated them, but rather their qualifications for the job. It is good this longstanding vacancy may finally be filled, but it should be done much more quickly and more fairly.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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