D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland:
Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month.
Garland, chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, appeared at a Rose Garden announcement on Wednesday along with Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden. Obama said it was rare to find someone "who just about everyone not only respects, but genuinely likes."
"He earned overwhelming bipartisan praise from senators and legal experts alike," he said.
"People respect Merrick's deep and abiding passion for protecting our most basic Constitutional rights," Obama said.
Blah, blah, blah, yatada, yatada, yatada.
The particulars on Judge Garland:
1) He's sixty-three, the oldest person nominated to the Supreme Court since President Nixon named Justice Lewis Powell in 1971.
2) He served in the Clinton Injustice Commissariat, overseeing the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, the Unabomber case, and the Atlanta Olympics bombing.
3) Sick Willie appointed him to the D.C. Circuit in 1995. He became chief judge three years ago.
4) He was a contender in both of O's previous SCOTUS sweepstakes, losing out to both Blubberstopheles and the "Wise Latina" because he was a white guy.
What does that cumulatively tell us?
1) Garland wouldn't be on Olympus nearly as long as fellow D.C. Circuit Judge Sri Srivanasan (age forty-nine) would have been, and Garland isn't a minority; conclusion: This is not the pick The One wants, but is simply election year mischief intended to put Mitch McConnell's nuts in a vice.by creating the appearance of being "reasonable" and "meeting Republicans halfway," even thought that's never how SCOTUS appointments work once they're confirmed.
2) Garland is a Clintonoid, so this nomination is by definition not "meeting Republicans halfway".
Bottom line: He's another Stephen Breyer, whom I vividly recall being introduced in the exact same way by Mr. Bill over twenty years ago. And Stephen Breyer ain't no Antonin Scalia, or even an Anthony Kennedy.
So while Red Barry's pick could have been technically worse, it's still completely unacceptable.
Will Senate Republicans maintain the blockade? It sure sounds like it.
Majority Leader McConnell:
Barack Obama has named his choice to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for political reasons, not to see a nominee confirmed, and it all goes against what his own Vice President Joe Biden said during a similar situation when he led the Senate Judiciary Committee back in 1992, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted on Wednesday.
"The nation would have to pay for what would surely be a bitter fight no matter how good a person is nominated by the president," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor, calling for the American people to be able to have input into the next Supreme Court justice, and that the Senate leadership would not plan hearings for Obama's nominee, U.S. Court of Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland....
"The Biden rule reminds us the decision, which was announced weeks ago, remains about a principle and not a person," said McConnell. "It seems clear Barack Obama made this nomination not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election which is the type of thing Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden was concerned about."
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), up for reelection this fall:
"As I have said previously, I believe it is better for the country to allow the American people to have a voice in this debate. We are in the midst of a highly-charged presidential election that is less than eight months away, and this lifetime appointment could reshape the Supreme Court for generations. I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people and allow them to weigh in on this issue. This is the same position that Vice President Biden and Senators Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have outlined in the past.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT):
“The president has full and complete power to nominate individuals to the Supreme Court, as he will reportedly do later today,” Lee said in a statement. “But the Constitution also gives the Senate the full and complete power to reject or confirm the nominee,” Lee continued. “It’s as simple as that. In light of the contentious presidential election already well underway, my colleagues and I on the Judiciary Committee have already given our advice and consent on this issue: we will not have any hearings or votes on Barack Obama’s pick.”
“Any meeting with any nominee put forward by Barack Obama would only be a waste of the Senate’s time. The Court has very ably dealt with temporary absences in the past and will do so again now,” Lee continued.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, with an (almost) spot on reminder of what the Senate's constitutional duty - and power - actually is:
“When they structured our nation, the Founders placed trust in three separate but equal [sic] branches of government. Co-equal [sic] authorities are throughout the Constitution, including Article II, Section 2, where the power to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court is granted to the president and authority is given to the Senate to provide advice and consent. Nowhere in the Constitution does it describe how the Senate should either provide its consent or withhold its consent," Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley released in statement. "Today the president has exercised his constitutional authority. A majority of the Senate has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year, with millions of votes having been cast in highly charged contests. As Vice President Biden previously said, it’s a political cauldron to avoid. Judge Bork learned even after being unanimously confirmed for a circuit court judgeship, the confirmation process for the Supreme Court is unlike any other."
“It’s also important to remember the type of nominee Barack Obama said he’s seeking. He says his nominee will arrive at ‘just decisions and fair outcomes’ based on the application of ‘life experience’ to the ‘rapidly changing times.’ The so-called empathy standard is not an appropriate basis for selecting a Supreme Court nominee," Grassley continued. “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice. Do we want a court that interprets the law, or do we want a court that acts as an unelected super legislature? [Actually, neither one, but one that applies the law]. This year is a tremendous opportunity for our country to have a sincere and honest debate about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.” [emphases added]
If only that were possible. With inveterate leftwing liars as the frontrunners in both parties, honesty will be nowhere to be found in this election cycle or ever again in American politics, however long even the facade of republicanism lasts.
Which leads to gaming out the endgame of the Garland nomination.
1) Is he the best nominee we're ever going to get from Obama? Yes, although chickenshit doused in barbecue sauce will never taste like chicken salad.
2) Are Republicans going to lose the Senate YUUUUUGELY in November? Inevitably, with the Trump anchor around their necks. That, combined with the White House already being lost to the Right for the third straight cycle, means that there is no safe 2017 shore to reach. So Garland is almost certainly our best bet.
3) If Senate Pachyderms were to cave and grant hearings to Garland, much less confirm him, after the stand they've taken against hearings of any way, shape, or form, that would be like pouring napalm on the Trumplican "BURN THIS MFer DOWN!" raging five-alarm fire. The majority only regained in 2014 is history regardless, but a reversal of this magnitude would turn a six-seat loss into ten, or fifteen, twenty, maybe a total shutout. Whatever you people think of the "establishment," they're neither stupid nor crazy. They'll follow through and see it to the end....which means the November election.
4) After Hillary or Weekend Bernie is president-elect, and the GOP's Senate losses are held to a recoverable level, McConnell will then bring up the Garland nomination in the post-election "lame duck" session, because, as noted above, he will be the best Scalia replacement we're going to get.
Probably meaning that Obama will rescind that nomination and hand off the baton to his Donk successor, who will, in concert with a restored Donk Senate, inflict the apocalyptically worst imaginable choice on us next year and fully resurrect the twenty-first century equivalent of the Warren Court.
Meaning that Trumplicans are not just "burning down" the Republican Party, but whatever's left of the country as well.
I hope you people are pacing your rage, because there's a lot more self-inflicted "anger" to come - and you'll be getting plenty of it from me, I promise you.
UPDATE: Ted Cruz weighs in deliciously:
"Merrick Garland is exactly the type of Supreme Court nominee you get when you make deals in Washington D.C.," he said in a statement that also criticized rival Donald Trump, who often boasts of his ability to close deals.
"A so-called 'moderate' Democrat nominee is precisely the kind of deal that Donald Trump has told us he would make - someone who would rule along with other liberals on the bench like Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor." [emphasis added]
And all surviving conservatives said, "AMEN!"
A pity it will fall on such deaf ears apart from us.