Last February, Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, abruptly decided to block a nomination for a federal judgeship, though Mr. Johnson actually recommended the nominee just eight months before.

Why the reversal? It was never very clear. Mr. Johnson said it was because the candidate, Judge William Pocan of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, didn’t live in Green Bay, where the federal district is. But Judge Pocan didn’t live in Green Bay when Mr. Johnson first recommended him and, at any rate, offered to move to the city if he got the job. Was it because Judge Pocan had something to do with the prosecutors’ decision to give low bail for a domestic violence defendant who later drove his car into a Wisconsin parade, killing six people? That’s what Mr. Johnson implied in his statement, though that accusation would be false: Judge Pocan had nothing to do with the bail decision and was unconnected to the case.

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