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Ash writes: "Who cares about Barack Obama or his right, duty, to choose a Supreme Court nominee? Longtime conservative power-broker Senator Orin Hatch of Utah picked Merrick Garland and Obama obeyed. End of story."

Republican Senator Orin Hatch of Utah. (photo: Charles Dharapak/AP)
Republican Senator Orin Hatch of Utah. (photo: Charles Dharapak/AP)


Merrick Garland, What's the Point?

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

16 March 16

 

he mantra from the DNC for weeks, since Antonin Scalia died, has been “Fight for President Obama’s Supreme Court pick!” What they should have said is “Ratify Orin Hatch’s Supreme Court pick that Obama will announce.”

Who cares about Barack Obama or his right, duty, to choose a Supreme Court nominee? Longtime conservative power-broker Senator Orin Hatch of Utah picked Merrick Garland and Obama obeyed. End of story.

Hatch said:

“[Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man ... he probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants.”

Obama apparently took Hatch’s cue and complied.

Battle? Ideological confrontation? Reshaping of the Court? Forget it – Garland is a safe pick for America’s ruling class. Obama punted. Hatch defeated him without a fight.

Better than Scalia. Sure, but that really doesn’t say much. Scalia was arguably the most purely politically-motivated Supreme Court justice in American history. A ham-fisted, ideologically driven, right-wing operative who came to the court every day with a clearly defined agenda. Will Garland be better? Yes. Will Garland show any courage in moving the country forward? Not likely.

Why would anyone who understands the scope of the problems facing the country today fight for this Hatch-Obama offering? They should not. To those who would argue that Obama had to do this to get a nominee, any nominee, approved: That’s absurd. It’s not about getting “any nominee” approved. We don’t “fight” for approval. We fight for a better, more just nation. Something no one in the nation’s capitol has any apparent concern for.

Obama will leave the Presidency as he began it, wrapping his policy and legacy around not offending white Republicans.

It’s a travesty and an abdication.

Would a President Hillary Clinton show more courage? She couldn’t show less.

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+120 # SusanT136 2016-03-16 12:36
And a President Bernie would do even better. Talk about surrendering before the battle has even begun.
 
 
-35 # smilodon1 2016-03-16 15:00
Quoting SusanT136:
And a President Bernie would do even better. Talk about surrendering before the battle has even begun.

Do you imply Bernie would knuckle under much more than President Obama has?
 
 
+8 # SusanT136 2016-03-18 03:07
Quoting smilodon1:
Quoting SusanT136:
And a President Bernie would do even better. Talk about surrendering before the battle has even begun.

Do you imply Bernie would knuckle under much more than President Obama has?


No - the opposite
 
 
+34 # Kiwikid 2016-03-16 16:26
Actually, Garland looks like a really positive choice. In a nation that is significantly and increasingly polarised, someone of his calibre could be a steadying influence and would smooth out the extremes of lurches to either end of the political spectrum. The fact that he's been considered under this administration twice before; that his previous appointments have had strong support across the political spectrum; and that Hatch has endorsed him before his selection this time around by Obama, means that the Republicans are in a real bind if they want to say 'no. Good one Obama!
 
 
# Guest 2016-03-16 13:11
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0 # Barbara K 2016-03-16 13:12
I'm sure this is the same Merrick Garland that the President did select, at least that is the name all over the internet.

..
 
 
+84 # danireland46 2016-03-16 13:13
Obama has been a disappointment to those of us who believed him to be the game changing progressive he had professed to be.
I don't know anything about Merrick Garland, but if it's true that he's recommended by Conservative GOP senator Hatch, it's just one more disappointment.
 
 
+104 # dadhantat 2016-03-16 13:24
Quoting danireland46:
Obama has been a disappointment to those of us who believed him to be the game changing progressive he had professed to be.
I don't know anything about Merrick Garland, but if it's true that he's recommended by Conservative GOP senator Hatch, it's just one more disappointment.


Totally agree. As far as HRC is concerned, more of the same o, same o. Honestly can not understand why people would chose her over Sanders.
 
 
+32 # janla 2016-03-16 14:45
Hatch has already said he would not be involved with ratifying this nomination - so ha!
I think this is an effort to force Repubs to at least squirm a lot - do they want this guy or do they still want to not play nice.
 
 
+24 # Radscal 2016-03-16 18:19
And then after Garland is appointed, it'll be the American people who will be squirming.
 
 
+11 # SenorN 2016-03-18 02:47
Most of the people voting for Hillary know very little about Sanders and are not interested in knowing more. They have wanted a woman president and Hillary specifically since at least 2008.

I want a woman president, too. It's a shame Hillary isn't the best candidate this time around.
 
 
+4 # pros54 2016-03-19 10:59
"They have wanted a woman president and Hillary specifically since at least 2008."

it will be heart warming if the above was the reason, however I believe the reason is because of a high population of poorly informed voters. The black elite (Washington elites) are in the pocket of the Clintons and lot of poorly informed black voters look to them for guidance. The message that have been sold to these voters is that black people owe the Clinton's for supporting Obama in the 2008 election. The other message they send and which a lot of people both black and white believe is that the Clintons are good with the economy and a Clinton presidency will result in more wealth. So it boils down to ignorant selfishness and low information. If you talk of Libya what they see is the republicans using Benghazi to attack Clinton and not the havoc Hillary's policies wrought in Libya or they see you as attacking Obama's foreign policy and thereby you are attacking Obama.
 
 
+24 # Bruce Gruber 2016-03-16 13:33
And Hillary has already promised to carry water as cheerleader and future quarterback for his team surrender. The future l.ooks profitable for both
 
 
+57 # bmiluski 2016-03-16 13:54
Do you people do any reading, danireland?
The office of the president is NOT a dictatorial one. It is an office of compromise and choosing a bad choice over an even worse one.
I really wish YOU repugs would own up to what you did to this country by electing gwbush. GROW UP and take responsibility for the mess you caused and, via Mitch McConnell, continue to do so.
The fact that President Obama has had to fight against the obstructionalis m of the repugs and still managing to accomplish as much as he did, is a testament to his diligence and patriotism.
 
 
+52 # Billsy 2016-03-16 14:07
One simply cannot compromise with a party that refuses to negotiate and instead, obstructs. You fail to understand that the system is corrupt. It no longer works for the electorate. Without a fight we capitulate to the status quo. You've clearly given up.
 
 
+25 # RLF 2016-03-16 16:54
I agree...a party that never moves and one that moves? ...that's called capitulation! It is what the Dems have been at since it was perfected by Bill Clinton.
 
 
+1 # CL38 2016-03-19 19:55
and will continue under hypocritical hil, if she steals the nomination.
 
 
+81 # jdd 2016-03-16 14:24
The only things Obama has fought for are Obama care, in opposition to Medicare for all, Dodd-Frank, in opposition to Glass-Steagall, the surge, regime change in Libya, Syria and Ukraine, and of course the TPP. He has never, gone to the mat for anything resembling a New Deal policy. If you think Hillary will be better, well, you ain't seen nothing yet.
 
 
+31 # Street Level 2016-03-16 18:31
Don't forget NDAA and willingness to throw Social Security on the table.
 
 
+4 # janla 2016-03-16 14:46
I'm with you, bmiluski
 
 
+24 # Charles3000 2016-03-16 14:49
Obama had options on many of his calls. He has cooperated with the Rs on cutting the budget, when the shut down occurred he could have stopped it in its tracks and future ones also by minting, under current law and the constitution HSC's of a few T$, he did not have to do the stupid thing of assisting bin Larden and splintering al qaeda into a zillion parts and making it more dangerous that it was. He became a true neoliberal, the ideology that has given us austerity and a stagant economy with huge numbers of unemployed persons.
 
 
+24 # RLF 2016-03-16 16:55
And it has given us a 1% that is richer than ever!
 
 
+18 # dadhantat 2016-03-16 17:06
[quote name="bmiluski" ]"Do you people do any reading, danireland?". Actually I do quite a bit of reading. Being 65 with two master degrees (dose not mean anything other than I have read a lot over the years) and still doing a lot of reading, I have a pretty good idea of where this country has been, when it started to change and where it is going. Of course the president is not a dictator (what a waste of words). JSREILGH is correct Garland deserves a fair hearing(danirla nd46 did not say he should not)

What danireland46 did say was Obama was a dissapointment to progressives who had hopes for something different. I also am extremely disappointed. He has probably done as good a job as anybody can do under the circumstances. But he is still a disappointment: between what he said and what he has done is a big disappointment.

I am half way through 'Atlas Shurgged': don't agree with Rand's philosophy but it is a good novel worth reading. One thing I am struck by is the the adamant belief in PRINCIPAL by the two main characters Henry Rearden and Daggney Taggert.

There are times when principle is important. Making a Supreme Court pick iS one of those times in my mind. Marc Ash is right and HRC is a moderate rebublican and will move the national narrative to the right.
 
 
+12 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 18:27
He had a choice to nominate a real liberal. There will be no compromise from the Republicans anyway. And I would not support this nomination from a Republican so I will not support it from Obama. You blather on about accomplishments , but bottom line, we are no further ahead for his presidency.
 
 
+17 # economagic 2016-03-16 15:23
He has even been a disappointment to some of us who didn't vote for him either time because we didn't believe he was what he professed to be, because we knew a little about what he did in the Senate.
 
 
+10 # lorenbliss 2016-03-16 15:37
Apropos the Supreme Court, exactly as I said would happen.

(Come on, people, wake up! Occupy your own minds!)
 
 
# Guest 2016-03-16 17:22
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+13 # librarian1984 2016-03-16 17:25
Quoting danireland46:
Obama has been a disappointment to those of us who believed him to be the game changing progressive he had professed to be.

I'm not sure that's fair. A lot of people said Obama was a progressive, but I don't think HE ever said so, and his Senate voting record certainly didn't suggest it. So I wasn't too disappointed, though I am rather surprised at his hardline on whistleblowers and deportations. People projected what they wanted on to him.

Quoting danireland46:
I don't know anything about Merrick Garland, but if it's true that he's recommended by Conservative GOP senator Hatch, it's just one more disappointment.


I agree wholeheartedly. If Hatch recommended him, it's not a good nomination.
 
 
+22 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 18:43
"I'm not sure that's fair. A lot of people said Obama was a progressive, but I don't think HE ever said so, and his Senate voting record certainly didn't suggest it. So I wasn't too disappointed, though I am rather surprised at his hardline on whistleblowers and deportations. People projected what they wanted on to him."

He did'nt say so in so many word but he implied that he was more progressive than he actually was. He implied that he understood the problems with trade deals. He implied that he was ok with the public option. He did this because he knew he had to to get liberal votes, but as soon as he was elected, he renigged on the carefully worded non-promises most people who listen to him thought he had agreed to. So he was willfully deceptive if not literally lying,

I really didn't believe him either, since I knew a little bit about his tenure as Senator, but he still managed to disappoint me. I thought he would be more of a departure from Bush than he turned out to be.
 
 
+20 # Radscal 2016-03-16 18:17
Not just Orin Hatch, but Drumpf-endorsin g, anti-choice and thinly disguised racist Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said "I would place him at the top of the list."

Had a Republican nominated Garland, liberals would be rightly outraged.
 
 
+10 # lorenbliss 2016-03-16 23:37
What is especially infuriating is noting how theoretically "progressive" organizations like MoveOn and UltraViolet (the latter a genuine shock) immediately fell in lockstep behind Obama on this appointment.

While my awareness of its sometimes nastily bourgeois bias (its anti-unionism etc.) has always made me wary of MoveOn, I suspect UltraViolet -- a group whose activisting I always respect and often salute -- merely succumbed to a spasm of election-year hypnosis and momentarily forgot Obama the Orator's shape-shift into Barack the Betrayer. At least I hope that's the case -- that they will soon reconsider their support for Garland in light of his overtly fascist and/or misogynistic supporters.

But despite my respect for UltraViolet, I will not hold my breath, as the tragic reality of Moron Nation has blinded so many of us to the fact any upcoming Citizens United decision is truly the modern equivalent of the battle of Yorktown.

Had the British won at Yorktown, their victory would not only have nullified the Declaration of Independence, but would have denied us Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn," probably the finest patriotic poem ever written anywhere in any language:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood/
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled/
Here once the embattled farmers stood/
And fired the shot heard round the world"

That is indeed our proud legacy, and the longer I live, the more certain I become that only socialism can save it for us.
 
 
+3 # SenorN 2016-03-18 02:44
You should learn something about Garland before you tell the world he was a bad choice. (It's believed he would generally vote with the liberals.)

Obama has put it to the Repugs. They'll look terrible if they stonewall Garland and, after they do, Hillary or Bernie will nominate and the Democratic Senate will approve Srinivasan who is far more liberal.
 
 
+1 # CL38 2016-03-19 19:53
Since the GOP is entrenched in racism, and refuse to function as they were elected to do, Obama should just "go for it" and name a progressive woman jurist to keep moving toward equality on the Supreme Court!
 
 
+55 # Farafalla 2016-03-16 13:14
The DC circuit handles rather unique cases. Many of them involve tech and communications. It is not known to be a proggie court (like say the 9th circuit). So I am curious as to Garland's voting record on that court. If approved, he would deliver the goods for the Tech sector, ending the Internet as we know it. He would allow for giant mergers of cable and phone. And, most importantly, he would not reverse Citizens United.

Obama wants to make a point by nominating a center right conservative. He wants to show Mitch et al to be total obstructionists . I think this goes to far to make that point.
 
 
+47 # Texas Aggie 2016-03-16 13:35
One can hope that the republicans follow through on their threat to not consider anyone. Then at least there is a chance that someone better will be selected.
 
 
-11 # pupdude 2016-03-16 15:40
So many expert prognosticators . I think it was a savvy pick.

Sorry everyone is so disappointed in Obama. IMO given republican obstructionism, I think he's accomplished a lot.

Single payer was not going to happen in 2009. Public option, ditto.

Wake up!!

While you're sleeping, senate republicans beginning the process of breakfast by the SCOTUS. Next POTUS may have 2-4 justices to select. Need to win in Nov. and take back the senate.

IMO criticisms of HRC way overblown. Yes Iraq vote a great mistake. Maybe you'd prefer Trump??
 
 
+1 # pupdude 2016-03-16 15:41
Not breakfast by ... breaking the Supreme Court
 
 
+25 # Radscal 2016-03-16 18:29
Sigh. Obamacare passed without a single Republican vote. If the votes to pass Universal Single Payer were not there, than it was Democratic votes that obstructed it.

If Single Payer, or at least a Public Option had been presented, we'd know which Democratic legislators are the enemy of true universal health care.
 
 
+1 # pros54 2016-03-19 11:10
"Single payer was not going to happen in 2009. Public option, ditto."
Public opinion in August 2015, Trump was not going anywhere in the republican primaries.

You cannot determine how far you can bend over the wall without fallen over until you have fallen over in other words the surest course to failure is not trying, (as Hillary is busy telling us not to) no trial no success.
 
 
+1 # RLF 2016-03-16 16:58
I think Obama doesn't have to get reelected so he is showing himself for the right winger he has always been.
 
 
+32 # JSRaleigh 2016-03-16 13:37
I don't think Garland should be dismissed out of hand. I'd like some better information on opinions he handed down during his tenure on the Circuit Court, understanding that they may be constrained by Supreme Court precedent.
 
 
+15 # bmiluski 2016-03-16 13:55
Thank you Raleigh...
 
 
+5 # Billsy 2016-03-16 14:09
There's an RSN article outlining the background of 3 potential nominees including Garland. He's the weakest of the 3 but at age 63 likely to remain on the court less time.

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/35774-ive-made-my-decision-on-supreme-court-nominee-president-obama-says
 
 
+6 # JSRaleigh 2016-03-18 14:12
Quoting Billsy:
There's an RSN article outlining the background of 3 potential nominees including Garland. He's the weakest of the 3 but at age 63 likely to remain on the court less time.


So far, what I've read about him & his record indicates he's liberal on the question of "open government" & accountability, while deferential to established precedent.

I've also seen some speculation that Obama doesn't expect Garland to get a fair hearing or any hearing at all for that matter. Expecting his nominee to be obstructed, Obama chose a qualified centrist who would give the Democrats the most clout against obstructionist GOP Senators in the fall elections.

If Garland is confirmed, the court will shift moderately left toward the center. If he fails to get a hearing at all, the Senate could see a shift back towards the Democrats in the fall election.

If that happens, a lame duck Senate might rush through a Garland confirmation to prevent Hillary (or Sanders) from nominating someone even more liberal.

In the best of all possible worlds, the Democrats win the Presidency & take back the Senate; Garland gets confirmed by the lame duck Senate; and around this time in 2017, one of the other right-wingnuts on the court has a fatal accident of some sort.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2016-03-19 21:34
It was too much of a risk if Obama really wanted to see a more progressive court. I don't believe he really did.
 
 
+7 # Interested 2016-03-16 13:38
Appointments to the courts are preferably something other than purely idealistic. Cynicism tends to prove the opposite but a brilliant academically capable jurist with an understanding of of the law is what we really need and the president believe he has his person. Hopefully Hatch has the guts to agree and helps get this appointee approved.
 
 
+36 # BettyFaas 2016-03-16 13:42
I am so disgusted with Neo-Liberalism, Neo-Conservatis m and Oligarchy that I would just as soon the Republicans would sit it out on Obama's choice. He could have nominated a woman with more progressive credentials from far away from Washington D.C..
 
 
-43 # bmiluski 2016-03-16 13:56
Spoken like a true repug troll.
 
 
+26 # BettyFaas 2016-03-16 15:54
I am no troll. I am a true liberal Democrat!! And proud to be one!
BettyFaas
 
 
+2 # janla 2016-03-16 14:50
Quoting BettyFaas:
I am so disgusted with Neo-Liberalism, Neo-Conservatism and Oligarchy that I would just as soon the Republicans would sit it out on Obama's choice. He could have nominated a woman with more progressive credentials from far away from Washington D.C..

Throwing around the labels does not generate a sound argument. Although I would have liked your choice of a progressive woman, that would just give the Repubs more reason to cross their arms and stamp their collect feet - and get those fleshy lips sticking out there.
 
 
+25 # BettyFaas 2016-03-16 16:20
It is a very sound argument if one knows a basic meaning of those words! (Money interests before people, Unending war, Mega-wealthy power) Policies born out of those ruling principles and control make me mad. Inevitably, the resultant diminished country in which we live will find it cannot flourish. BettyFaas
 
 
+9 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 18:58
They aren't just labels, These words have meaning that too many people don't know and are too lazy to learn. They are descriptive phrases that fit.
 
 
-1 # pupdude 2016-03-16 15:42
Who wouldn't be confirmed
 
 
+9 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 18:59
So What. No one will be confirmed.
 
 
+23 # John Escher 2016-03-16 13:58
Immediately institute impeachment proceedings against those senators who refuse to do their constitutionall y-mandated job of holding a hearing on this matter.
 
 
-1 # pupdude 2016-03-16 15:43
Not possible
 
 
+15 # Radscal 2016-03-16 18:32
Ah, the motto of the New Democrats:

Yes we CAN'T!
 
 
+3 # Lgfoot 2016-03-16 17:12
In the Repug controlled House?
 
 
+11 # Radscal 2016-03-16 18:35
The House doesn't vote on Supreme Court nominations, only the Senate.

But the Democrats lost the Senate, too. That's the success of this "Obama coalition" we keep hearing about, and the DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schul tz (D, Tel Aviv).
 
 
+3 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 22:01
Lgfoot is talking about impeachment not confirmation.
 
 
0 # Radscal 2016-03-16 23:14
I see.

I was also wrong that the House can bring impeachment charges, but only the Senate actually carries it out.
 
 
+7 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 18:56
Er. Congress is controlled by Republicans, the very ones doing the obstructing. They are not going to impeach their Senate colleges.
 
 
+42 # mh1224jst 2016-03-16 13:59
Bernie is our only hope.
 
 
+5 # Buddha 2016-03-16 14:23
Or this is just Obama's attempt at political jiu-jitsu, Obama has finally learned that the GOP don't want to work with him even for a Centrist nominee like this, and he can then point to the hypocrisy and obstruction he has faced at the hands of the GOP. But now watch the GOP go "psych" and confirm him. Outmaneuvered yet again Obama.
 
 
+15 # heiko12 2016-03-16 14:27
If the republican threats succeeded in getting Obama to nominate a very conservative judge, they already won.

They may have also "already won" because whoever he nominates will likely immediate start getting death threats, etc from people who oppose Obama no matter what. Thus it is possible that many qualified judges may have said "no thanks, not interested".

I agree - Bernie IS our only hope.
 
 
+13 # smilodon1 2016-03-16 15:03
Could this be a gambit President Obama is hoping to lose in order to make republicanderth al congressvermin even more popular and increase the chance they will not be reelected? If so, I hope it doesn't backfire. We need a center to left moderate rather than a centrist like Garland.
 
 
-2 # CarolinMexico 2016-03-16 15:14
Good grief. Has Obamna learned nothing since he squandered his D Congressional majority...or, oh I hope it is true, he figured Hillary / Bernie might lose, and this guy would be better than some wingnut Trump might use to make a deal...
 
 
+1 # Shades of gray matter 2016-03-16 15:25
I should think Marc should cite the Judges 5 worst rulings, or SOMETHING egregious he has written recently. Or at least publish a brutally incriminating funeral photo of the guy. I know Berners are having a really bad day, but the primal screams and demonizing won't help. Maybe Obama is trying to get the Dems control of the Senate by forcing GOPers to act weird re a fair nominee. I think some African Americans are offended by Berner condescension, going Trumpish against our first AA Prez.
 
 
+13 # Radscal 2016-03-16 18:51
Remember that habeas corpus thing guaranteed in our Constitution?

"In 2003, Garland joined an opinion holding that the federal judiciary lacks the authority, “to assert habeas corpus jurisdiction at the behest of an alien held at a military base leased from another nation, a military base outside the sovereignty of the United States,”

Criminal Justice Reform?

"Judge Garland rarely votes in favor of criminal defendants' appeals of their convictions." Goldstein "identified only eight such published rulings (in 20 Years on the Bench!)."

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/03/08/3757086/what-we-know-about-the-judges-obama-is-reportedly-vetting-for-the-supreme-court/

But, the Jewish Journal loves his family's orthodox Zionism that stretches back to the very origin of that movement in the 19th century.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/merrick_garlands_jewish_ancestry_matzah_prayer_shawls_and_democratic_party
 
 
+11 # QueenBee62 2016-03-16 15:48
Obama merely complied with Orin Hatch's suggestion to nominate Merrick Garland. "End of story." Really, Marc Ash? Your total dismissal of Obama's choice demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the current political reality.

Obama is obviously determined to make Republican obstructionists look like the idiots they are for saying they'll refuse to hold confirmation hearings on anyone he nominates. Garland has a sterling record in the practice of law, the prosecution of criminals and crooked politicians (hah!), as well as a lifelong record of humanitarian public service. Apparently all you heard Obama say, if you were listening, was that Orrin Hatch favored his nomination and you ran with that. You neglected to say that President Clinton wanted to nominate Garland in the 90s and failed to talk about Garland's history of achievements or the man himself.

No, Garland may not be the liberal we'd like to see on the Supreme Court. How could have Obama have nominated a liberal or a progressive to the Court? Would that have accomplished anything? There wouldn't have been a hope in hell of Republicans holding hearings. There's little hope even now, but there is absolutely no reason for them to refuse to hold hearings on Garland.

Would you rather the Republicans, if they win the presidency, nominate the next Justice? I don't even want to imagine who Donald Trump or Ted Cruz might nominate. And if Hillary Clinton wins, she would also likely nominate a centrist as well.
 
 
+6 # bardphile 2016-03-16 16:38
You've got it right, Queen. Obama is not knuckling under to Hatch. He knows his choice won't be confirmed, no matter who it is. He's looking to help down-ballot democrats running in contested districts or states.
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2016-03-18 00:38
"And if Hillary Clinton wins, she would also likely nominate a centrist as well."

A perfect example of why I will not vote for HRC.

Perhaps the only thing more disappointing than President Obama's continuation of neocon/neoliber al policies is the defense of such policies by partisan Democrats.

I fear for our country if we cannot elect Sanders. But if we can't, at least Republicans motivate the partisans to be active.
 
 
+2 # SusanT136 2016-03-18 03:31
Quoting QueenBee62:

Obama is obviously determined to make Republican obstructionists look like the idiots they are for saying they'll refuse to hold confirmation hearings on anyone he nominates.


Yes that is the point Obama is trying to make, but this is something that will not even register on most voters radar (sadly). Have you noticed Republican obstructionism having any effect on the voters choices so far?

The Republicans will not hold hearings on any nominee. They're going to play this as being up to the "voters choice" meaning the 2016 voters (somehow the 2012 voters don't count). The "subtleties" of whether this nominee is someone Repubs would normally approve or not is not going to get traction.

Instead, the foundation is laid to not even dare to nominate a truly progressive jurist. The entire perspective has been moved to the right, which is the Repubs goal.
 
 
+15 # pupdude 2016-03-16 15:58
Have been reading about the judge. He clerked for Justice William Brennan. Google Justice Brennan. Could be fun!

Also, Justice Elena Kagan thinks he's awesome.

He worked in the Carter years as an assistant AG.

He was highly regarded as a prosecutor.

I'm sure there's more.

Facts folks!
 
 
+3 # lights 2016-03-16 17:23
Thank you pupdude!
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 19:03
He hasn't presided like justice Brennan.
 
 
+9 # Nell H 2016-03-16 16:03
According to one web site, Garland was on Obama's short list when he considered his two previous nominations. Maybe he nominated someone he really wanted to nominate and Hatch played into the circumstance.
 
 
+10 # revhen 2016-03-16 16:04
Hatch was high school classmate and good friend. He was "liberal" enough when his dear friend, Ted Kennedy, as around and together created some good legislation for handicapped and children. Unfortunately, he has to play right wing to get reelected. The whole move by Obama will show up the Republican bigots for the deep racists they are. Wait until they get the other type of person they so fear and hate, a woman, as president!
 
 
+4 # revhen 2016-03-16 16:04
It's "was around"
 
 
+6 # tibercio 2016-03-16 16:23
A Garland moderate is exactly the kind of Supreme Court justice you get with a divided government. This is what brought Kennedy to the Court. And you know what, I have no problem with a Kennedy-style jurist, who will disappoint some, win others. Beats the heck out of any sort of ideologue.
 
 
+2 # lml52106 2016-03-16 16:30
Perhaps this article from the New York Times will help clarify Obama's choice. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/03/16/us/politics/garland-supreme-court-nomination.html
 
 
+7 # Shorey13 2016-03-16 16:44
Marc, you sound like you're surprised. You shouldn't be Obama has long since made it clear that he, like the Clintons and Diane Feinstein and too many other phony "Democrats," are really moderate Republicans who have been ejected from their party of choice, so they have hijacked the Democratic Party. Now Clinton is awaiting her coronation. Except, she will not beat Trump. No chance. The electorate of both parities are through with the establishment, and she represents it in spades;
 
 
-13 # lights 2016-03-16 17:20
Shorey13 said: "Now Clinton is awaiting her coronation."

I'm sure it makes you feel better today to say such things but the truth is...

....you should know to work as hard as Hillary Rodham Clinton does!
 
 
+3 # GDW 2016-03-16 17:14
I agree, that for Progressives Obama has been a disappointment. No Great Changes, but some good moves also. I think that as the first Black President he does not want to do anything too controversial and has bent over backwards to work with these jerks, who's only goal is to destroy his legacy.
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2016-03-16 17:34
People are always talking about the need to get the perfect person on the Supreme Court because otherwise the country will be ruined. We put way too much importance on the Supreme Court. On abortion, we should try to get a national law passed that codifies what we want instead of worrying about what some justice might decide on it. The court has too much power. They have essentially taken the legislative role away from Congress.

I'm kind of impressed with what Obama has done. As someone said, he's "calling the GOP's bluff." Hatch said he'd never appoint Garland, and now he has.
 
 
+4 # pupdude 2016-03-16 18:08
Elizabeth Warren has added her support. Are we feeling a little better now? I still think senate will block him.
 
 
+9 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 22:06
No. Elizabeth Warren doesn't feed me my opinions. I often agree with her, but not this time.
 
 
+4 # tr4302@gmail.com 2016-03-16 18:09
Garland is a well qualified person for the SCOTUS. Let the GOP Senators further how petty and juvenile they really are. Seven years of obstruction is leading them to be the next Whigs. Good riddance.
 
 
-4 # Dgreenb1 2016-03-16 18:18
What a crock this article is. Written like a five year old temper tantrum. Grow up. Life is not about always getting what you want when you want it. Obama has been thoughtful and smart in almost every decision he has made. You Bernie enthusiasts who are crapping all over him are as bad or worse than the teaparty nutcases. We've been luck to have Obama and will be luckier yet to deny Trump the presidency.
 
 
+19 # lorenbliss 2016-03-16 18:36
The Supreme Court issue that takes precedence over all else is Citizens United -- the 5-4 decision that officially reduced the United States to a plutocracy.

Quite simply, if Hatch supports Garland, then Garland is obviously a supporter of Citizens United.

Hence -- because it is undeniable (as I have already argued at length) Obama's masters will demand that Citizens United be perpetuated -- Garland is by inference (though given the givens, very obviously), a Citizens United supporter. Indeed he could not be anything else.

As far as the future of the republic is concerned, nothing else -- not even Roe v. Wade -- is even remotely as important.
 
 
-4 # Shades of gray matter 2016-03-16 18:53
Marc, If you choose to inject your contributions, which is fine, why not set a very High Standard of thorough analysis, quality research, respect for alternate perspectives, respect for RSN readers, Commenters, $ contributors? This is the second silly guilt by association slam this week; did you not learn from the Comments after the funeral photo? Some of your previous essays have been excellent. Could we get back to those, please? And show some sensitivity to those who IDENTIFY with Obama, Hillary. Yes, I am asking that you hold yourself to a higher standard than we Commenters who sometimes type before we think. You da man.
 
 
-6 # Kiwikid 2016-03-17 00:55
I absolutely agree with S.o.g.m - and further, I suspect this could be a reason you are going to find your fundraising increasingly fraught - you're alienating a large part of your own base.
 
 
+8 # lfeuille 2016-03-16 19:05
Ash is right. He is the first I have seen that has had the never to say it in public.
 
 
+10 # chuckvw 2016-03-16 22:36
Give Obama a mile and he will take an inch...
 
 
0 # Shades of gray matter 2016-03-16 23:21
"For decades, Chief Judge Merrick Garland has served his country with distinction - as a federal prosecutor, a senior official at the Department of Justice, and a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Along the way, he has won praise from Democratic and Republican Senators, liberals and conservatives - even the Bush-appointed Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is one of the most solemn tasks that our government performs. President Obama has done his job - selecting a nominee and sending that nominee to the Senate - and it's time for the Senate to do its job." E.Warren FORCED to say positive things by Hatch?
 
 
+3 # lorenbliss 2016-03-17 05:58
No, E. Warren forced to say positive things by the Hillary Machine in which, after the Massachusetts primary, she is forever trapped.
 
 
+5 # newell 2016-03-17 08:46
Why not wait for a young liberal. I would like to see a Vietnam-America n or a Muslim myself. We are now better off at 4-4 than at anytime in the last 20 years. Let's wait and let the Republicans be seen as the obstructionists they are. Clinton or hopefully Bernie (I'll quit when he does)--- can make the nomination. The mainstream press and the Republicans can put all the spin on it they want, but they know with Trump at the helm, they will lose more than the West Wing.
 
 
+5 # cmp 2016-03-18 09:46
We know, "The Point"

.. Looking Back..:
~" The announcement that Anita Faye Hill had taken and passed a lie detector test on her allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas caused an uproar Sunday on the Senate Judiciary Committee.. "~

~" .. You can find a polygraph operator to do anything you want him to do, just like you can find a pollster," declared Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), one of Thomas' most ardent supporters. "To throw that into the middle of a Supreme Court nomination as though it's real, legitimate evidence is highly offensive . . . exactly what a two-bit slick lawyer would try to do. "~

~" .. Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) agreed and overruled one of his fellow Democrats, Thomas critic Howard M. Metzenbaum of Ohio, when he tried to get a reference to the polygraph test entered into the hearing record. "~

~" If we get to the point in this country where lie detector tests are the basis upon which we make judgments . . . we have reached a sad day for the civil liberties of this country," Biden said. "~

~" President Bush said earlier in the day that it would be "a stupid idea" .. "~
http://articles.latimes.com/1991-10-14/news/mn-429_1_lie-detector-test

Grab a popcorn and pull up your chair. It's "Oscar Night.." And, you know, who the winners are.:
* 1st Place: Corporate Personhood.
* 2nd Place: The rich - are still getting richer.
 
 
+1 # macserp44 2016-03-19 21:56
First off, let's start a petition to remove Congressmen and women who refuse to carry out the Constitutional demands of their job from public office.

Second, start a populist movement via the internet to elect a progressive to the court.

The New York Times is not going to cover this satisfactorily. Nor is Obama.
 

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