As promised, President Barack Obama has nominated someone to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the sudden death of the great Justice Antonin Scalia. That someone is Judge Merrick Garland, Chief Justice of the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The 63-year-old Judge Garland is well-educated and experienced, and appears to be well-regarded. The Obama Administration and its allies are bending over backwards to portray Judge Garland as a moderate. However, a review of recent Court appointees makes it abundantly clear that Democratic presidents rarely (if ever) miss the mark on appointments to the Court; Democratic appointees are judicial activists. While Judge Garland may be less aggressive in his approach to jurisprudence than most other potential nominees that President Obama might consider, that does not make him acceptable.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has continued to stand firm against the consideration of any lame-duck Obama appointee to the Supreme Court. Sen. McConnell’s action—which is commendable—raises two questions: How many wishy-washy Republican senators will put pressure on Sen. McConnell to change course? And will Sen. McConnell give in to the pressure?
At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we encourage Sen. McConnell and his colleagues to stay the course. President Obama cannot be allowed to drag the Court to the left in his final months in office.