Friday, April 8, 2016

Merrick Garland; our 'hometown' boy who's likely to become nothing

So what is destined to be the legacy of Merrick Garland – the appeals court judge for the District of Columbia whom President Barack Obama has proposed to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States?

GARLAND: What will he become?
There has been a lot of rhetoric spouted about the suburban Lincolnwood native who went on to bigger and better things once leaving the Chicago area.

MANY OF OUR political people have been eager to attach themselves to his name. Both of our state’s senators have publicly said Garland is qualified to be on the nation’s high court.

That even includes Mark Kirk, our state’s Republican senator whose own party leaders are the ones heading up the effort to ensure that Garland never even gets a hearing – let alone a vote – from the Senate with regards to his confirmation.

Even Obama got into the act – on Thursday, he appeared at the University of Chicago law school (where he once worked as an instructor while also serving in the Illinois state Senate) to tout the merits of Garland.

As though he thinks he can shame the leadership of Republicans desperately opposed to the idea of letting this particular president have any more authority than they’re willing to grant him.

WHICH IS MY long-winded way of stating that they have no shame. They’re more than stubborn enough to follow through with their threat to refuse to even hold confirmation proceedings for Garland.

Probably because they know that if legitimate hearings were held, Garland likely would come across as judicial enough to impress the American public. The GOP’s blatantly-partisan maneuvers would be exposed for what they are – a tacky tactic meant to impose their own vision (rather than anything desired by the public) on our society.

OBAMA: Touting Garland in Chicago
So what really becomes of Garland? What is the point of him enduring the upcoming 2016 and all the non-activity that will happen if, in the end, he’s not going to actually get the post?

Is Garland deluded enough to think that the partisanship of the Republican caucuses in Congress can be cracked? Or does he merely like the idea of the label of “Supreme Court nominee” attached to his name?

I’D THINK AT the very least it becomes a little easier for him to get a quality reservation these days at a restaurant within the District of Columbia.

Because in future years, it’s always possible that people will struggle to remember the name of “that guy” whom Obama tried to put on the Supreme Court. Or, as I’m sure the Republican ideologues perceive it, had the arrogance to think he had any right to nominate.

KIRK: Garland makes him less likely to lose?
Who does this president think he is, thinking he can fill three of nine vacancies on the Supreme Court – just because all of them happened to occur during his presidency?

I’ve heard from some people who openly admit this fight is about ideology – the Supreme Court must be dominated by people who have a conservative bent to the way they perceive the law.

OTHERS HAVE BROUGHT up the name of Robert Bork – the former Nixon administration aide and appeals court judge whom then-President Ronald Reagan tried to nominate to the Supreme Court in 1987, only to be rejected because his own ideological leanings were so far to the right. They claim that GOP treatment of Garland is merely payback for what Democrats did to Bork.

BORK: Got his hearing. Why not Garland?
Which is nonsense.

Bork got hearings. He got the chance to state his case – which is something that Garland will never get from the current Congressional leadership. And only the hardest-core of ideologues remembers Bork -- the man who carried out Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" of 1973 -- in any sort of sympathetic context.

It’s creating a situation in which the name “Garland” will not be the lingering memory come future years. It will be the Republican leadership whose inactivity on this appointment will be among several facts that will create the “shame” they will have to live down when their legacies are written.


No comments: