Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Obama makes his 'moderate' nomination to replace Scalia (UPDATES)

President Obama wants a third Justice on the Supreme Court to advance his agenda. However, there is no right that Obama has to have his nominee heard in the Senate in the teeth of an election. Nothing in the Constitution obligates the Senate to hold a hearing on any Supreme Court nominee. It’s ironic that Democrats want Republicans to hear Obama’s nominee when their own party members, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and John Kerry opposed President George W. Bush’s Supreme Court picks. The Republicans need to stand firm on this issue instead of breaking away. ~ ML, 3/16/16
Who's Merrick Garland? Obama's supposed moderate choice for Scalia's replacement...
NYT: President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick B. Garland as the nation’s 113th Supreme Court justice, choosing a centrist appeals court judge for the lifetime appointment and daring Republican senators to refuse consideration of a jurist who is highly regarded throughout Washington.

Mr. Obama introduced Judge Garland to an audience of his family members, activists, and White House staff in the Rose Garden Wednesday morning, describing him as exceptionally qualified to serve on the Supreme Court in the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

Related links: Obama Nominates Federal Appeals Judge Merrick Garland To Supreme Court to Replace Scalia
President Obama Nominates Merrick Garland for Supreme Court
Who Is Merrick Garland?

Just wiki the guy and you'll get a glimpse of what we're looking at:
Garland is considered a judicial moderate and a centrist. Garland has been described by Nina Totenberg and Carrie Johnson of NPR as "a moderate liberal, with a definite pro-prosecution bent in criminal cases." The New York Times said he "is often described as brilliant" and wrote that "If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years." 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.

Garland has "tended to take a broader view" of First Amendment rights. In a number of split decisions on environmental law in the D.C. Circuit, Judge Garland has "favored contested EPA regulations and actions when challenged by industry, and in other cases he has accepted challenges brought by environmental groups." In cases involving the Freedom of Information Act and similar provisions related to government transparency, "Judge Garland's rulings reflect a preference for open government."

In Senate confirmation hearings held in December 1995 to consider Garland's nomination to the D.C. Circuit, Garland that his most-admired Supreme Court justices were Justice Brennan, for whom he clerked, and Chief Justice John Marshall, who reinforced the principle of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison. Garland also expressed admiration for the writing style of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

He became Chief Judge on February 12, 2013.
A guy that wants to impose more EPA regs on industry, bad on labor, oh, and anti-Second Amendment. What a moderate! And a guy who current sitting Republican Senators have already voted both for and against:

So who knows how they'll land (probably as unpredictable as his rulings!).

But it's probably important at this junction to remind certain senators of the '92 Biden rule, the '05 Reid standard and the '07 Schmuck obstruction...

Related link: Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Was “Spearheading” The “Filibuster Movement” Against Bush SCOTUS Nominee

Just saying, guys.

But who knows...when Hillary defeats Trump, if that's the direction the Republican electorate continues to unwisely push us towards...who knows, indeed.

Nonetheless, I lean towards Andrew McCarthy's perspective that the Senate MUST DENY Obama’s bid to transform the Supreme Court:
Obama is a lame duck who has already done lasting damage to the separation of powers that undergirds our constitutional system. He has already put his stamp on the federal judiciary: Besides two Supreme Court justices, he will have placed well over 300 like-minded, life-tenured appointees on the bench by the time he leaves office. He should not be permitted to further shape the ideological direction of the Supreme Court, especially with several cases on the horizon that challenge Obama policies implemented by unilateral, legally dubious executive action.
Related links: Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee Revealed — and Some Red Flags Have Already Been Raised on His Second Amendment Record
Obama picks anti-gun activist for Supreme Court

UPDATE I: In perhaps the wisest move of their careers, McConnell and Ryan thus far remain adamant that this process be held over for the next president, citing the Biden rule...
TheHill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday shot down the idea of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland getting a hearing.

McConnell insisted in a floor speech that the vacancy should be filled by the next president.

“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction," he said.

"The Senate will continue to observe the 'Biden Rule' so the American people have a voice in this momentous decision. The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate somebody very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy."

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stood by McConnell's decision.

“This has never been about who the nominee is. It is about a basic principle. Under our Constitution, the president has every right to make this nomination, and the Senate has every right not to confirm a nominee.

"I fully support Leader McConnell and Chairman [Chuck] Grassley's [R-Iowa] decision not to move forward with the confirmation process. We should let the American people decide the direction of the court."
Then will come the real test of will-power: Whichever way the election goes, particularly if it goes awry, and another lib is nominated, will they continue to vote one after another down and demand an adequate conservative replacement for Scalia's seat?

Their ranks already appear wavering, and the division among Senate Republicans over Obama’s new Supreme Court nominee may have already begun...
TheHill: A small group of Senate Republicans are breaking with their party’s Supreme Court strategy, saying they’re willing to meet with President Obama’s pick to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia.

Seven Republicans, so far, have said they are open to considering or meeting with Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia who was nominated earlier Wednesday by President Obama.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she agreed to meet with Garland after the White House reached out, but that it will take place after the Senate returns from its two-week recess in April.

“I’ve never refused an offer to meet with a nominee to the Supreme Court, that has always been my standard practice,” she told reporters.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) also told reporters that he would meet with Garland, saying “I meet with people, that’s what I do.”

Whether or not to meet with Garland is also splitting blue-state Republicans, who are at the center of the battle for control of the Senate.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) each said Wednesday they were open to meeting with Garland.

According to Talking Points Memo, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said while he would meet with Garland, he still believes the seat should remain empty.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who chairs the Appropriations Committee, echoed his comments. While he told reporters he was open to considering the nominee, he added in a statement that Scalia’s seat should remain vacant until next year.
As theRightScoop points out, 'While this may not amount to anything, the GOP doesn’t have a good track record of standing up to Obama. So this is likely the beginning of the Senate folding into a vote on Obama’s nominee.' ...particularly when it comes to the most vulnerable in their desperation to hold on to power in an election year.

Related link: Ted Cruz: Merrick Garland’s Nomination Is a Donald Trump Type of Deal

UPDATE II: The first to cave (of course, the Illinois Senator...after winning his primary reelection & up against a Democrat challenger in the blue state, which he will likely LOSE!)...
AP: Sen. Mark Kirk became the first Republican senator to break with party leaders and call for a vote on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court selection, saying Friday, “It’s just man up and cast a vote.”

The statement by Kirk, who faces a difficult re-election battle this fall in Democratic-leaning Illinois, came two days after Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland, a Chicago native, is chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Kirk’s stance directly contradicts the path charted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that most GOP senators have followed. McConnell has said for weeks that there will be no Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for any Obama nominee for the vacancy and no confirmation vote by the Senate.

“Right, it’s just man up and vote,” Kirk said on the “‘Big’ John Howell” show on Chicago radio station WLS. “The tough thing about these senatorial jobs is you get yes or no votes. Your whole job is to either say yes or no and explain why.”
Don't think I could have responded any better than TheRightScoop:
“Just man up” and cave to Obama. Hey Mark, why don’t you MAN UP and protect the Constitution like you PLEDGED to when you took the damn office?!?!?

I understand that we all expect politicians to always act like selfish self-interested spineless cowards, but in this case, it really is placing the nation at peril. If we lose just one seat in the Supreme Court, then it’s absolutely game over for the Constitution, and for this country. Already the Democrats are able to push about half of their left-wing agenda through the courts, and with one less seat on our side, they’ll be able to push everything else.

I know these idiots are only looking at the next election, but perhaps they should set their sights on what their legacy will be into perpetuity. Is one more damn turn in the office worth denigrating and destroying the Constitution?

I guess for Mark Kirk it is.
UPDATE III: On Sunday, Mitch McConnell FINALLY appears to be taking a hard line on something for once!
Mitch McConnell says the Senate will not confirm Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland even if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.

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