Friday, March 18, 2016

Republicans Are Shooting Themselves In The Foot -- Again

The gentleman pictured here is Merrick Garland. He is the Chief Justice of the Washington (D.C.) Court of Appeals -- and he is President Obama's nominee to fill the current vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.

I think he's a brilliant pick. Those on the left don't think he's progressive enough, and those on the right don't think he's conservative enough. That's because he's a moderate, who let's the Constitution be his guide instead of trying to impose his own political beliefs through his decisions.

When nominated, he received a majority of the Senate votes from both political parties -- and no one in the Senate seems to have anything bad to say about him. They all believe he is a competent judge, and would probably make a good Supreme Court justice.

In spite of that, the Senate Republicans still say they will not allow Garland to get an up-or-down vote on confirmation. The Republicans are saying it has nothing to do with Garland, but is simply on process. The "process" they are talking about is to wait and let the next president (the person elected next November) make the nomination.

Why are they doing this? I believe there are three reasons:
1. They met and agreed back in January of 2009 to oppose anything President Obama tries to do.
2. They are afraid of their own base voters.
3. They are hoping the next president will be a Republican, who will nominate a Scalia-clone.

I think they are just shooting themselves in the foot -- again. Most of the public has said in poll after poll that they want the Senate to seriously consider whatever nominee President sent them -- and with his nominee being the widely-respected Merrick Garland, I expect that majority of Americans to rise. This purely political failure to do their job could make more people vote against them in November -- and their presidential nominee (especially if that nominee is Trump or Cruz). Their obstruction could well help to elect a Democrat (Clinton or Sanders) -- both of which would likely nominate a far more progressive candidate for the court.

I think at least some of the GOP senators think they could quickly approve Garland after the election, if Clinton or Sanders is elected president. That could be a big mistake. What if the Senate Democrats decide then to let the new president make the nomination -- and block Garland themselves? It could happen, since most of them would love to see another liberal on the court.

The Republicans are playing a dangerous game in obstructing Garland's nomination -- and it could easily backfire on them.


  1. They re doing more than shooting themselves in the foot. I've been arguing that one result of this election is to split the Billionaire and the Billion Prayer parts of the GOP, the business backers (of all level from small business up) and the religious and radio directed base.

    This will help that. The business people don't want the uncertainty of a Trump nominee, and they know Hillary will pick someone more liberal -- at least as her second choice if she still has to replace Scalia. They WANT Garland confirmed, and also because ties are not good for them. They might win an individual case from a lower court, but even that creates no precedent and, in effect, needs to be relitigated, expensivelt.

    Watching the two pressures on the Senate, and especially on those running will be fun to watch.

    Btw, I think another case where the business interests could take a progressive stand -- as they did, in many cases, in LGBTQ rights and SSM, could very well be gun control. These people being shot -- and I'm talking about the accidents and one-off cases (read SOUTHERN BEALE for great coverage of those) are employees as well as citizens, and the effect of even a near miss, or seeing a bullet hole in your baby's crib from a shot that came through the wall, well, you are not going to get the employees best work when she returns after getting over the shock.

  2. Donald Shimoda3/19/2016 8:15 PM

    Who are the voters who are going to hurt the Republicans if they don't consider Garland? The Republicans never seem to get punished for their sins.


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