Yesterday. Obama gave a speech announcing his nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
Garland has had a long reputation as a moderate, and Obama is using that reputation to his advantage. When Republicans inevitably strike down his nomination, Obama can bemoan Republican extremists standing in his way of a “common sense” pick.
To Garland’s credit, he is moderate on a number of issues. But liberals never let a tragedy go to waste, and the tragedy of Scalia’s death won’t go unexploited.
Does anyone really think the President who nominated Sonya Sotomayor and Elana Kagan has no ulterior motive in this nomination? Garland has some liberal positions under his belt, which are as follows:
1. Garland is considered anti-Second Amendment. As the National Review noted last week: “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” and voted “to uphold an illegal Clinton-era regulation that created an improvised gun registration requirement.” Obama will use his pick to pursue a gun control agenda.
2. Garland has favored environmental regulations. As SCOTUSblog noted in 2010: “On environmental law, Judge Garland has in a number of cases favored contested EPA regulations and actions when challenged by industry, and in other cases he has accepted challenges brought by environmental groups.” That could be very important, with Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the balance.
3. Garland’s positions on abortion and social issues are murky. Some liberals are worried that Garland may not be unambiguously pro-choice. Richard Wolf of USA Todaywrites: “During 19 years at the D.C. Circuit, Garland has managed to keep a low profile. The court’s largely administrative docket has left him without known positions on issues such as abortion or the death penalty.”
His position on gun issues is the most worrisome, as he would tip the scales against gun rights. The National Review article cited dives more in depth to his history of anti-gun decisions.
What do you think? What does Obama have in mind with this nomination? Let us know in the comments.