President Obama’s pick to fill the late Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court started making his rounds on Capitol Hill Thursday. Judge Merrick Garland met with Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Patrick Leahy (Bernie Sanders’ colleague from Vermont).
Garland is said to be a genuinely nice guy, a lawyer that other lawyers like to like.
“He and I were both trial lawyers. I was able to talk about some of my cases, and we had a good time just visiting about the law,” Reid said.
With cracks already beginning to form in the GOP’s opposition to any Obama nomination, it may simply be a matter of time and a few face-to-face meetings between Garland and Republican senators that kicks off the confirmation process.
Let’s get this out there: the nomination should be completely taken off the table. Judge Garland would be a disaster for the pro-life movement and a gift for every liberal cause with a matter coming before the Supreme Court.
Judge Garland’s record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge. He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant. His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements.
But Judge Garland, most certainly, is liberal in his interpretation of the Constitution, and the prescriptive rulings that would flow from that view. Obama doesn’t need someone to write sweeping pronouncements. He has Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ginsburg to do that.
Conservatives lost their best, most brilliant and articulate voice on the Court in Justice Scalia. In fact, he’s probably irreplaceable. But to allow President Obama to replace him with another version of Justice Souter–to get a Souter 2.0–is foolish. Souter was appointed in 1990 by President Bush (41) and turned out to be not very conservative at all. Souter was replaced by Obama with Sotomayer, a hard-core liberal.
Sen. Grassley needs to stand for conservatives, not for putting the capstone on a brilliant lawyer’s career. Maybe Judge Garland’s long legal career qualifies him for the Court–it should be an honor to be nominated. But that doesn’t mean he serves conservative values. The Senate should not be a lawyer’s club because ideas have consequences and elections (should, at least) have consequences.
Let’s take Garland off the table. We don’t need a Souter 2.0.