Stop the Supreme Court battle

March 24, 2016



Features Editor | jts040@latech.edu

Another day, another overly complicated political battle in Washington.

President Obama recently selected Merrick Garland to be his nominee for the seat of the deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. His nomination came amongst calls from Republican Party leaders to delay any decision until the election of the next president.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has gone even further recently, stating the Senate would not consider voting for Garland even after the elections: “I can’t imagine that a Republican majority Congress in a lame-duck session, after the American people have spoken, would want to confirm a nominee opposed by the NRA, the NFIB, and The New York Times says would move the court dramatically to the left.”

That’s insane for two reasons. One, McConnell is ignoring the fact that the American people have spoken by electing Obama for a second term. At what point during his term did he stop speaking for the American people?

Two, he just blatantly linked his reasoning to opposition from the National Rifle Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. He isn’t even attempting to hide the fact he is making governmental decisions based on outside organizations.

McConnell also said in a recent interview, “It’d be hard to be more liberal than Merrick Garland,” a statement that is entirely untrue. There’s Loretta Lynch, Diane Wood and Patricia Millett, to name a few. Bernie Sanders has even said he would look at nominating someone more progressive if he wins the presidency.

Before Garland’s nomination, Sen. Orrin Hatch said, “The president told me several times he’s going to name a moderate, but I don’t believe him. (Obama) could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man. He probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election.”

It’s clear many politicians view Garland as an acceptably moderate choice, with Hatch, Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and James Inhofe all discussing the possibility of meeting with him.

The senators who refuse are playing a dangerous game, far more dangerous than Joe Biden and Harry Reid’s past (admittedly idiotic) remarks about refusing to hold hearings on nominees they found distasteful. Actually going through with refusing to hold hearings sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents. Also, if Sanders does make it through to the White House they’ll have a far more progressive nominee to deal with (Clinton would likely stick with someone like Garland).

To Congress: stop creating political tension for the sake of creating political tension, and do your job.


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