24 March 2016
A SUPREME COURT NOMINEE WE CAN LIVE WITH
I have come to the conclusion that the prudent action for the Senate to take is to consent to the nomination of the Hon Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court. My conclusion is purely pragmatic.
First, having read many of Judge Garland’s reported opinions, I believe that he is a judge’s judge. That is, he tries assiduously to apply the law to the facts of the case before him. In that regard, he is a judge of the same mold as the late Justice Scalia. Are they philosophically different? Sure, but that is not a disqualifying attribute, and I suggest that Judge Garland is more intellectually honest than either Justice Sotomayor or Justice Kagan.
Second, I suspect that if the Senate takes up the nomination, it will tie the Warren Wackos in knots. We may see more Democrats than Republicans voting against the nomination. Just read the comments from the left. Intellectual , judicial and legal qualifications be damned—all they care about is putting on the Court a “woman of color,” someone who will increase the “diversity” of the Court. As is usually the case of the left wing of the Democrat Party, all they care about is the portrait, not the qualifications.
Third, if Senator Clinton is elected, is there anyone who does not think that the first thing she will do is ask the President to withdraw Judge Garland’s nomination so that “the next President can make the nomination?” Of course she will and the President will acquiesce. And you can bet that she will pick some looney tunes leftist, probably from the Ninth Circuit—the most often reversed of the circuit courts. If the Majority Leader lets that happen just to save face, he is not the citizen I always thought him to be. He becomes just another Harry Reid!
Finally, it will stick a pin in the hypocritical rantings of the Democrat Party—the party that ignored the outstanding qualifications of Judge Robert Bork and scooped up the scurrilous Anita Hill in an attempt to destroy Justice Thomas.
In fact, the Democrats have little use for the Constitution and have once again attempted to re-write it to fit their own ends. Then Senator Biden argued in 1992 that the confirmation of a Justice should be delayed so that the “next President” (President Clinton, as it turned out) could make the nomination. It is only now that he thinks an essentially lame duck President should make the call. It leads me to suspect that a lot of Democrats are less than confident that Senator Clinton will be elected.
Still, I am a conservative constitutionalist. The Constitution makes no mention of how long the Senate may withhold a decision. In fact, it does not set the size of the Court nor does it mandate any particular number of Associate Justices. The ability of the Senate to forestall a presidential nomination is just one more of the checks and balances the Framers wrote into the Constitution to protect the States and the People from an imperial presidency. The whinings of the Democrats notwithstanding, there is nothing Constitutionally wrong with delay.
However, it makes better sense to move forward on Judge Garland's appointment. The threat issued by Senator McConnell has worked. The President has nominated a centrist, to the chagrin of his own Party. I urge the Senate to take up Judge Garland’s nomination and to consent thereto.