I have not researched this man’s background, but the upshot of the pick appears to be that it is a “centrist” pick designed to put maximum pressure on Republicans. The reliable Ed Whelan has described Garland in reasonably favorable terms, saying: “I think Garland is the best nominee that Republicans could hope for.” The pick is strong evidence that Obama agrees with me that Republicans do not plan to cave. Therefore, he is putting political pressure on Republicans, by picking someone they have praised with foolish statements like this:
“The President told me several times he’s going to name a moderate [to fill the court vacancy], but I don’t believe him,” Hatch told us.
“[Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man,” he told us, referring to the more centrist chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia who was considered and passed over for the two previous high court vacancies.
But, Hatch quickly added, “He probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants.”
What an idiot Hatch is. We will be hearing that quote for months. The person who replaces Justice Scalia must be an originalist. But utter morons like Hatch open their mouth and suggest someone like Garland, a former clerk of the notoriously leftist non-originalist William Brennan, might be an acceptable pick.
Now Hatch is going to have some explaining to do. We had the Democrats on the ropes P.R.-wise, with the past statements of Biden, Schumer, Reid, and others. Now Orrin Hatch has dug us a giant hole and Obama is kicking us in and throwing dirt on us. Nice job, Hatch. Nice job indeed.
We will now hear some conservatives claim that with Trump looking more and more likely, maybe Republicans should take what they can get now. I see the appeal of the argument, since Trump would lose, but I say: no sale. I will have to research Garland further, obviously, but it appears clear that he is not an originalist. Therefore, he is unacceptable to become possibly the fifth Justice needed to take away rights such as the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
P.S. I don’t necessarily recommend researching the guy by going to Wikipedia. The hacks are already busy editing the entry:
— Brian Keegan (@bkeegan) March 16, 2016
UPDATE: Ed Whelan clarifies that his statements are not to be construed as an endorsement of Garland. Saying he is the best one could hope for from a Democrat does not mean he would be a good Justice.
Again: no sale.