Some of my views on President Obama’s appointment of D.C. Circuit Court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court are similar to those posted by Emily and Frank, but I would add some thoughts of my own.
Senate Republicans are certainly under no obligation to confirm Garland much less have a vote. After all, when Obama and Joe Biden were in the Senate (and for that matter Chuck Schumer) they made no bones about not confirming President Bush’s judicial appointees (much less have hearings for them). What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Yet I think such a strategy is practical if there’s a good chance if Ted Cruz is elected President. Frankly, the chances of Cruz being elected President much less getting the GOP nomination are slim and none.
But let’s say for argument’s sake that Cruz is elected the 45th President of the United States. Of course, Cruz would not be bound to stick with Garland and would appoint a constitutional conservative. That’s all fine if Republicans hold onto the Senate. But that is far from certain. There are vulnerable GOP incumbents in Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin not to mention the Florida Senate seat vacated by Marco Rubio. If Democrats recaptured the Senate they would surely do to Cruz’s nominee what Republicans plan to do with Justice Garland.
Mind you this is a best case scenario. Chances are the next President of the United States will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Hillary would be under no more obligation to appoint Garland than Cruz would. So I agree with Frank’s assessment that Hillary would likely appoint someone far more radical and unpalatable than Justice Garland. Who knows? Maybe she’d appoint Barack Obama.
As for Trump, God only knows. Trump can like someone on Monday, despise them on Tuesday, praise them Wednesday,damn them on Thursday and invite the over to his house for the weekend. Like any authoritarian, Trump behaves in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Now I’m aware that Trump has praised 11th Circuit Court Judge Bill Pryor and 7th Circuit Judge Diane Sykes. If he appoints either Pryor or Sykes and we still have a Republican Senate then fine. But if Democrats control the Senate then Pryor and Sykes will go no further than Garland.
As certain as the sun sets in the west Cruz will appoint a constitutional conservative. The same cannot be said of Trump. If Chuck Schumer becomes Senate Majority Leader I suspect Trump, being a dealmaker, would appoint someone other than Pryor or Sykes. Who knows? Maybe he would appoint Merrick Garland.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.