Judge Garland, 63 years old, choked up during his remarks and said his 19 years a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had demonstrated his commitment to “follow the law, not make it.”
“Fidelity to the Constitution and the law has been the cornerstone of my professional life.”…
“For those of us who are concerned about the direction of the court and wanting at least a more centrist figure—between him and somebody that President Clinton might nominate, I think the choice is clear,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.). Mr. Flake said he would want to confirm Judge Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress if Mrs. Clinton is elected.
Obama’s nomination of Garland immediately set off red flags for me, particularly when I learned of his involvement in the highly suspect McVeigh and Kaczynski cases. Based on his history and contrary to his claims, the last thing I would expect from a Supreme Court Justice Garland would be for him to follow the law above all. As I pointed out when Justice Scalia died, the Republicans have demonstrated their contempt for the Constitution many times, but they can’t admit it because their base demands they at least pay lip service to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the GOP confirms Garland under cover of Flake’s “Hillary’s pick would be worse.”
Another article in today’s Journal offers more potential foreshadowing….
“If Donald Trump is their nominee, then the Republican Party is going to have a big ‘unreasonable’ stamp all over their candidates,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), adding that remaining unmoved against Judge Garland would give Republicans “two political stones around their neck.”…
The GOP strategy to block any Obama court pick—laid out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) shortly after the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia—is aimed at handing no further ammunition to conservative activists and voters already deeply suspicious of the Washington political establishment….
“I’m not going to meet with somebody I know I’m not going to vote for or have a hearing for,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Saying stuff like “we won’t even vote on him if Obama picked him” makes the GOP look irrational. Either this will be used against them to get Hillary elected and more wins for Democrats in the Senate, or it will be used by “reasonable” conservatives to say, “hey, we have to prove this isn’t personal or partisan,” which could lead to a Garland confirmation.
And here’s The Journal‘s pitch for Garland…
Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, has served nearly 20 years on the federal bench and is viewed widely as a middle-of-the road judge who has avoided strong ideological opinions….
In 1989, Judge Garland quit his partnership at the law firm Arnold & Porter to become a prosecutor for the U.S. attorney’s office in the District of Columbia. By the mid-1990s, he was a senior official at the Justice Department, where he oversaw the prosecution of shocking crimes of domestic terrorism: those of Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, and Timothy McVeigh, an antigovernment extremist who in 1995 blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Donna Bucella, a federal prosecutor who joined Judge Garland on the scene in Oklahoma City, said he managed complicated legal issues and the competing concerns of victims, the local community and the broader public. “He’s got such a quick mind I’m not sure I followed him as fast as he was thinking,” Ms. Bucella said.
Nice article. This is just the kind of thing Journal readers are likely to respond favorably to, though anyone who gets information elsewhere than the mainstream media will know that both the McVeigh and Kaczynski cases involved government cover-ups….Scratching the surface, it appears that Garland could not be the innocuous, law-abiding man of integrity he is being made out to be. (For more on that, click here.)
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