Obama has chosen DC Court of Appeals judge Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia. Other than “THE ANSWER IS NO!” here are three things to know about him:
1. He’s allegedly a liberal “centrist” being touted as a “consensus candidate,”
Not only because his apparent moderate views, but because of his older age (he’s 63) as well. Jazz Shaw at Hot Air speculates that Obama doesn’t expect him to replace Scalia so much as he’ll be a political football to either get a more liberal guy in later (i.e. “The GOP rejected one justice who was reasonable, now I’ll nominate the leftist I really wanted and accuse them of obstructing, pressuring them not to do so again…and low-information voters wont know the difference.”).
Since Obama is clearly now in legacy building mode 24 hours per day, I would have said that Srinivasan had the upper hand here. Democrats could expect liberal rulings from him and have a decent chance at a full decade more of service than they would get out of Garland. Plus, it would have kept the entire rainbow coalition thing going. So why did Garland get the nod? If I had to pin down a guess I would say he simply had more experience and had served under presidents of both parties. He’s the “easier” sell in theory, and makes it all the harder for the GOP to justify not giving him a look. If the President has quietly accepted the fact that his nominee will never get a hearing he probably figures he can at least use the guy as a political football. In that sense, Garland makes a much better sword to wield against the Republicans because there will be a perception that there was less reason to reject him.
2. He’s anti gun
From National Review
But Garland has a long record, and, among other things, it leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Back in 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision striking down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The liberal District of Columbia government had passed a ban on individual handgun possession, which even prohibited guns kept in one’s own house for self-defense. A three-judge panel struck down the ban, but Judge Garland wanted to reconsider that ruling. He voted with Judge David Tatel, one of the most liberal judges on that court. As Dave Kopel observed at the time, the “[t]he Tatel and Garland votes were no surprise, since they had earlier signaled their strong hostility to gun owner rights” in a previous case. Had Garland and Tatel won that vote, there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court wouldn’t have had a chance to protect the individual right to bear arms for several more years.
Moreover, in the case mentioned earlier, Garland voted with Tatel to uphold an illegal Clinton-era regulation that created an improvised gun registration requirement…Garland thought all of these regulations were legal, which tells us two things. First, it tells us that he has a very liberal view of gun rights, since he apparently wanted to undo a key court victory protecting them. Second, it tells us that he’s willing to uphold executive actions that violate the rights of gun owners. That’s not so moderate, is it?
3. The GOP has to stick to their guns on no confirmation (pun intended)
Forget the rest of his record. #2 Alone should disqualify this man from consideration. Politicians always shy away from litmus tests, but having one with the Bill of Rights is not only proper and necessary, but vital to protecting the American way the left seeks to destroy.
This is the very thing conservative commentators everywhere were warning us about…someone who would overturn the Heller decision. If past is prologue then he will be like any typical liberal justice (provided the National Review report is accurate) who will ignore the law and constitution and vote however he feels.
Breitbart has a list of 5 things to know about the guy (the gun issue being one of them) here.