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March 20, 2016

Where Things Stand on the Supreme Court Vacancy [Y-not]

Earlier this week President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Scalia.

Here's what Jonathan Adler had to say about Obama's nominee:

While Garland has been a fairly moderate judge on the D.C. Circuit, this does not necessarily mean he would be a moderate Supreme Court justice. If I had to make a prediction, I would expect a Justice Garland to be more moderate, or closer to the center of the court, than is Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but it is hard to tell. As a judge on an intermediate appellate court, Garland has had an obligation to follow applicable precedent, and he has clearly taken this obligation quite seriously. On the Supreme Court, however, a Justice Garland would be freed from any such obligation, so his performance on the D.C. Circuit is not necessarily predictive of how he would act as a justice.

FWIW, Adler goes on to say that he would vote for Garland's confirmation, although he does not really call into question the Senate's right to not confirm him. (Make sure to read his colleague's opposing view here.)

Thus far, McConnell has held firm on his promise that the Senate will not vote on Obama's nominee.

Meanwhile, Senator Mark Kirk (IL-RINO) became the first Republican to call for a vote. Kirk's seat is considered to be in jeopardy. He'll be facing off against Rep. Tammy Duckworth this Fall.

Amongst the GOP primary candidates, we find (unsurprisingly) that John Kasich continues to portray himself as "the only adult in the room," expressing some criticism of the Senate for their hard-line stand against Garland and even suggesting that he might consider him for SCOTUS. He has since walked back those comments:

But the governor stepped back from his comments while speaking to reporters in Utah later Saturday, calling his earlier remarks an attempt at being "polite."

"In an effort to be polite today, I've created little bit of a situation," Kasich said after a campaign event in St. George. "Look, you know, Garland is -- I'm gonna have my own picks for the Supreme Court. You know, the fact is, I said that they ought to meet him and talk to him and, you know, I'm not gonna pick somebody who's, you know, obviously not a respecter of the Second Amendment. I don't want people making law and so, nobody should be confused, worked up or upset. He's not gonna be my pick for the Supreme Court."

To his credit, Donald Trump supports the Senate's stalling tactic:

"I think the next president should make the pick. And I think they shouldn't go forward. And I believe I'm pretty much in line with what the Republicans are saying," GOP front-runner Donald Trump told CNN's Chris Cuomo Wednesday on "New Day," just hours before Obama nominated D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.

Likewise, Ted Cruz (who knows a thing or two about the Supreme Court), had this to say:

I proudly stand with my Republican colleagues in our shared belief - our advice and consent - that we should not vote on any nominee until the next president is sworn into office. The People will decide.

Cruz also called into question the characterization of Garland as a "moderate" judge.

So what do you think, will the GOP-led Senate hold hearings on Garland? And, if so, will they hold a vote? Should they?

You can keep tabs on all things Supreme Court related at the SCOTUSblog, by the way.

Open thread.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:45 PM

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