President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, has been hailed by the press as the quintessential moderate jurist: “moderate in his politics as well has his demeanor” (New York Times); “eminently reasonable” (Washington Post); “a middle-of-the road judge who has avoided strong ideological opinions” (Wall Street Journal).
Whatever one’s opinion on the matter — our Kevin Williamson takes a rather dim view — it’s clear that the president felt the need to reassure his left-wing base that Garland wouldn’t be, y’know, all that moderate when it comes to protecting that most important sacred cow of the Left: abortion.
How do we know this? Well, just minutes after President Obama’s Rose Garden announcement and press gaggle, Politico reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere caught sight of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards heading into the West Wing.
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) March 16, 2016
As some have pointed out, this would be the functional equivalent of President Bush — having just nominated Samuel Alito to the bench — ushering Wayne LaPierre of the NRA into the inner sanctum of the Oval Office. Can you imagine the howls of outrage from the Democrats and the press?
Notwithstanding President Obama’s assurances, the pleadings of the editorial boards of the Times and the Post, and the fact that Merrick Garland is almost certainly a good and well respected man, he is clearly not a constitutional originalist and should thus not be confirmed. As the editors of National Review wrote last night, the Senate would be wise to thank the president for the nomination and then, fully within its constitutional powers, to do nothing:
[Garland’s] record places him squarely in line with President Obama’s two other nominees, Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, and there is no reason to believe he would vote differently if confirmed.
That is, of course, the goal. President Obama has made clear that he wants to mold the Supreme Court into a rubber-stamp for his own lawless policies. Confirming Garland to the Court would entrench those policies and secure judicial imperialism’s grip on the body politic.
The Senate has no obligation to give the president’s nominee a hearing (let alone a vote), and it shouldn’t.
Read the full NR editorial here.