Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Cracked Analysis

The headline of this Politico article proclaims “GOP Supreme Court blockade showing early cracks,” and its opening paragraph similarly posits “signs of cracking” with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s “vow not to hold any confirmation hearings before the November elections. But the details in the article belie its claim.

The article first notes that a “handful of GOP senators said they would at least meet with Merrick Garland.” So what? I dont see any reason for conservatives to object to simple courtesy meetings. I trust that these senators will, in the course of paying their compliments to Judge Garland, make clear that there will be no action on his nomination before Election Day. Nothing in the article suggests otherwise.

The article also reports that some Republican senators would be open to action on the Garland nomination after Election Day if a Democrat is elected president. That is obviously entirely compatible with McConnell’s commitment not to have a hearing before the election.  

Democrats of course want to motivate their troops by giving them hope that Senate Republicans might alter course. So I can understand why they promote wishful thinking. But reporters shouldn’t do their bidding.

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