President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland today to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. It’s his way of creating a political issue by challenging the Senate Republicans to deny him a SCOTUS justice appointment of someone who appears qualified.
So far, the Senate isn’t buying it. As Fox news reported, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary chair Mike Lee are standing firm on the principle that a lame duck president should not nominate a Supreme Court Justice in an election year:
Yet within minutes, Republicans doubled down on their opposition to confirming any nominee in an election year, insisting that the vacant seat not be filled until a new president is sworn in.
“It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Obama, anticipating the swift resistance, urged Republicans to reconsider, adding it would be unprecedented for Garland not to at least get a hearing.
“I hope they’re fair. That’s all,” Obama said. “To give him a fair hearing and up or down vote.” […]
A Senate confirmation is required for any nominee to join the bench.
Before the announcement, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, also told Fox News that neither he nor his GOP colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee would back down and declared once more he would stop the nomination from going forward.
“We’ve been clear,” Lee said of his plan to reject Garland’s nomination.
If the principle of allowing the American people to have a voice in something like a Supreme Court pick is to be adhered to, Garland’s nomination shouldn’t even be considered no matter how qualified or unqualified he might be. If he gets a hearing and is rejected, it will just be a soundbite to paint Republicans as ‘obstructionist.’
Any nominee President Obama proposes in an election year should be rejected forthwith simply on principle. “Fair’ is not something in this president’s vocabulary when it comes to applying it to others.
And when you do a little digging you find that there are other reasons Merrick Garland doesn’t belong on the Court unless you favor a partisan Leftist tilt. It was none other than Pravda-on-the-Hudson that wrote that “If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years.”
The same article wrote that according to a measure of judicial ideology developed by four political scientists and considered a “reasonably good predictor of voting on the Supreme Court,” Garland is close to Justice Elena Kagan in terms of how he would rule.
That’s hardly surprising when you look at his background. He’s a stanch Democrat from Chicago and Harvard Law who was appointed to his D.C. Circuit seat by none other than Bill Clinton. Before that, he clerked for none other than the very far Left Warren Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. often considered one of the most left leaning justices in the Court’s history. In his confirmation hearing in December 1995 to consider Garland’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit, Garland that Brennan was one of the justices he most admired.
His paper trail is fairly limited and he’s done some decent work as a prosecutor, but using that ancient wisdom, the apple usually doesn’t fall far from the tree, and if it did, there’s no way a hyper partisan president like Obama would have picked him. Garland can only be considered ‘qualified’ if you like the idea of a locked in Leftist majority in the Supreme Court.
We’ll see if the GOP Senate has finally managed to grow a spine.
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