U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has 'hard time believing' he'll vote for anyone President Joe Biden picks to Supreme Court

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD – Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson didn't mince words Thursday on where he's likely to stand in the coming confirmation battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

"I have a hard time believing I'm going to vote for anybody that President Biden will nominate," Johnson said Thursday.

Johnson added he wished he could vote for a nominee of President Joe Biden who had the "proper judicial temperament, a judge not a judicial activist."

"I'm sure I'm almost positive we'll get the latter," he said.

In the battle over judges, Johnson's pointed declaration was on brand. He was part of the GOP blockade in 2016 to prevent President Barack Obama's pick, Merrick Garland, from getting a confirmation hearing after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Subscribe to our On Wisconsin Politics newsletter for the week's political news explained.

Johnson voted for former President Donald Trump's three picks to the high court: Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Asked about Biden's plan to nominate a Black woman to the vacancy, Johnson said: "I have no problem (with that), I just don't want a radical leftist."

Johnson said he didn't like "litmus tests" and added, "We just came off of Martin Luther King Day I think the goal he said for us many decades go, judge people by the content of the character, not the color of his skin is really what our goal should be, but some people don't share that."

Johnson has been touring the state this week in his official role as a Senator, just weeks after he announced he was running for re-election to a third term.

More: Here's who's running for Ron Johnson's Wisconsin Senate seat in 2022

Thursday, he made stops in Dane and Waukesha Counties.

'Not much' U.S. can do on Russia and Ukraine

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson speaks at the Town Clerk's Office in the Town of Brookfield  on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 .  Johnson traveled to Waukesha and Dane counties on Thursday, visiting with Wisconsin business leaders, parents, and students.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson speaks at the Town Clerk's Office in the Town of Brookfield on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 . Johnson traveled to Waukesha and Dane counties on Thursday, visiting with Wisconsin business leaders, parents, and students.

Appearing before a small audience gathered at the Town of Brookfield's town hall, Johnson said there's "not much" the United States can do as Russia masses troops and equipment amid concerns Vladimir Putin is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine.

"I don't want to encourage anybody, okay. We're in a really tough situation," Johnson said. "Nobody wants to get in a war with Russia."

Johnson, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Biden has been "conveying weakness" and added he feared whatever the president "does is way too little, too late."

The Biden administration has been seeking a diplomatic solution to resolve the crisis even as 8,500 U.S. troops have been placed on alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe.

Johnson defends remarks on childcare

During a Tuesday appearance in La Crosse Johnson voiced opposition to a government role in helping people find or afford childcare, and said: "I've never really felt it was society's responsibility to take care of other people's children."

Johnson defended his remarks Thursday, telling reporters that he interpreted the question as "should we have another federal government program to provide childcare?"

"And I don't believe it's controversial to believe that it's probably the most important decision anybody makes as whether or not to have children," he said. "I don't think it's controversial to believe that it's parent's primary responsibility to raise their children, not somebody else's."

He also raised concerns about the country's budget deficit, soaring inflation and the impact that may have on people including "parents struggling to try and raise their children."

"I just don't see the federal government solving too many problems, spending money they don't have," Johnson said.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sen. Ron Johnson unlikely to support Biden nominee for Supreme Court

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting