Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Merrick Garland has been nominated by President Obama for the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
He is described as a moderate apparently since his decisions have rankled both sides of the aisle in the past. This is touted as a peace offering by President Obama who could’ve gone with a much more liberal nominee. That he didn’t is either a demonstration of his change of heart near the end of his second term or it is a consummate political strategy aimed at permitting the Republicans to find yet another way to embarrass themselves in a Presidential election season.
This sets up an opportunity for the Republicans to avoid appearing to be knuckle-dragging neanderthals who simply ignore the nominee through the rest of this term. They could do that but that would seem to be contrary to what they ought to do. They ought to do what they’re supposed to do; they ought to conduct hearings in all earnestness. They ought to go through the process that is prescribed for such occurrences. They ought to proceed with all deliberateness to commence with hearings. They are called upon to do so. Yes, they could stonewall Judge Garland but they would do that at the political cost the President seeks.
The way the current race for the Oval Office is shaping up, it might well be more prudent to go forward while there is a more known quantity sitting in that office. We have little in the way of factual information to preclude that we would be further ahead to have President Trump making these recommendations, and we would almost certainly be further behind if the second President Clinton made the recommendation.
We conservatives might well be ahead to go through the process of hearings at this time rather than to engage in our current “we won’t do it and you can’t make us” snit fit. The Congress can either give a thumbs up or deny the appointment. In either case, the Congress will have discharged its duties and responsibilities rather than to have simply stuck its collective head in the ground, thus avoiding its duty and being subject to further scorn by the Democrats.