Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton vs. Merrick Garland

The Democratic presidential candidate disavows Obama's SCOTUS pick.

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C-SPAN

Poor Merrick Garland. First, Republican lawmakers refused to act on Garland's nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, with the presidential election less than two months away, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is dropping hints that if she wins Garland can kiss his SCOTUS chances goodbye forever.

The bad news for Garland came yesterday, reports Bloomberg, during a morning radio appearance by Clinton. "Clinton would 'look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country' if she has the opportunity to make 'any' Supreme Court nominations, she said in a radio interview that aired Thursday on the Tom Joyner Morning Show," Bloomberg notes.

The Garland nomination was never that popular among progressives and Clinton seems to think she can rally those troops into voting for her by disavowing Obama's pick. Why is Garland unpopular on the left? Although he has a reputation as a legal liberal, Garland has never written a major opinion on the hot-button issue of abortion. That silence has caused prominent abortion rights advocates to wonder about Garland's commitment to their cause. Other critics, meanwhile, have raised a different sort of issue. As one progressive pundit complained, "yet another white guy."

Furthermore, as I've previously noted, Garland's long record of judicial deference in favor of police and prosecutors, as well as his long record of judicial deference towards wartime executive power, "surely came as a disappointment to that segment of the Democratic big tent that still cares about civil liberties." But then again, that unhappy group already has Clinton's own dismal civil liberties record to worry about.

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  1. Is anything stopping a Republican Senate from going in on Nov 9 and confirming the guy?

    1. If Hillary is elected, that might actually be the way to go.

      It would anger the Democrats, though.

      1. I like it. A party-line vote with the Republicans voting for Obama and the Democrats voting against. That’s a good way for the guy to leave his Presidency.

      2. I like the way you think. I suspect Obama will withdraw the nomination if she wins and it’s clear Garland isn’t wanted.

  2. I’m not sure if Obama actually though in terms of Garland being on the Supreme Court.

    He knew the Republicans would block the nomination. So nominated someone who could be spun as a “moderate.” In this way, the media can piss and moan about how the Republicans are extremists who won’t even hold a vote on a middle of the road, consensus candidate for the Supreme Court. (And the Republicans are behaving unconstitutionally, too!)

    After the election, Garland will have served his purpose. If Hillary is elected and has the opportunity to actually get her nominees confirmed, do you think she’ll waste time nominating a guy who was simply trotted out for political purposes, and who therefore doesn’t have such a clear and unambiguous record in favor of constitutional retardation as other possible candidates?

    1. Exactly. And of course she is currently in the fight of her life [comfortably assuming if she doesn’t win this time she will be dead or in some equivalent state by the next election] and is going to say anything to any group or demographic that will even slightly improve her chances.

    2. Except if you’re going to say he knew it was futile, why not pick someone super-left? He can still complain about Republicans being mean, and also reassure his base that he really is the Lightworker trying to establish a progressive legacy. The Republican trolling is a momentary pleasure, at the cost of some of his long-term prog cred.

      1. I suppose he could have done it either way. The point is, he was making his decision based on the assumption that the guy would never get confirmed.

        1. But I disagree. I think he had some hope that he would get one last appointment in there before he left, and that’s why he chose Garland. If Republicans sneered, he could complain and get sympathy. But he could also be palatable to enough of them to get a confirmation, giving him 3 seats for his legacy. Because that’s his prime motivator.

  3. Although he has a reputation as a legal liberal, Garland has never written a major opinion on the hot-button issue of abortion.

    The state of our Union: rights explicitly guaranteed are nibbled away and half the country couldn’t care less; instead, they have a creepy fixation on killing fetuses.

    1. “Nibbled” like the way Cookie Monster nibbles on a plate of Pepperidge Farm cookies.

      1. That would be more of a gobble, accompanied by vociferous and guttural yummy noises. More like a rat in the cupboard discreetly consuming your bag of Keebler cookies.

        1. The Bill of Rights is a Sometime Food.

  4. This is completely irrelevant to the discussion, but: what kind of name is Merrick?

    1. They ruined all our best names, like Bruce and Lance and Julian!

  5. Why go with Obama’s pick when she can sell the position to the highest bidder? Er… foundation donor….

    1. Does a supreme court justice have to be a US Citizen?

        1. There you go. Gilbert Chagory for USSC.

      1. If I’m not mistake they, like most judges, don’t even have to be high school graduates.

  6. It’s sickening that we have a major political party rejecting a nominee based on his race and sex. Openly.

    1. Ideas and principles are racist (and sexist and…)

    2. It’s called being tolerant. Why are you intolerant?

    3. If Clinton wins, she can nominate Liz Warren. That way, they’ll have the first ever Native American SC justice!

  7. “Clinton would ‘look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country’

    Code.

  8. “Clinton would ‘look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country’

    Isn’t the supreme court supposed to protect the constitution and individual rights?

    1. According to a bunch of old dead white guys from like a hundred years ago who probably owned slaves, sure.

    2. She could nominate a white, heterosexual man who didn’t go to Harvard or Yale. It would be the most diversity the court has seen in many decades.

    3. Every Constitutional right is subject to reasonable regulation.

      1. It’s funny how flexible the word “reasonable” can be.

        1. Add “common sense” to “reasonable” and you cover the whole fucking waterfront of bad intentions.

        2. “Reasonable” is govspeak for FYTW.

  9. I’d imagine Justice Warren or Justice Obama sounds much more pleasant to her ears.

    1. Nominating Warren would be smart: takes away a potential rival and gadfly.

    2. She would never nominate Barry willingly.

      It would be a real Clinton toady, like McAuliffe, but a little smarter.

  10. Incidentally, I’ve heard Hillary has some old friends in Arkansas who want to run the travel office.

    That dealio didn’t work out as expected–but maybe they’d rather work at the Supreme Court?

  11. This was all very predictable- both the Rs blocking the confirmation and Hilary’s changing nominees. The real question is why Garland was dumb enough to let himself be used like this.

    1. Sturm und drang for a bit, and then things will go quiet. A few months will pass after the elections. Then we’ll read on page C15 of the paper, maybe in the Lifestyle section, that the president of some tony college or an Ivy League dean has retired to enjoy more time with his family and his position has been filled by Garland.

  12. Smart move. Nothing to lose. Reps aren’t going forward with him. She is telling them if it gets to the point you think I’m going to win, you better proceed with him because he is as close to center as you’ll get.

    1. Well that depends on who controls the Senate next year. If the Reps hold it, then they can reject far left nominees.

      1. *suppresses laugh* You think the muppets will actually block someone who isn’t being shoved by a lame duck?

      2. Can’t block everyone.

      3. Regardless, the worst political move for her would be to say “I will renominate Garland.” Then Reps can say, let’s just block him. We can confirm him later if worst comes to worse. They need to know they have a choice to make.

        1. “That’s a nice Constitution you have there. Be a pity if I put a real Loony-Tune living-constitutionalist on the Supreme Court.”

  13. The whole problem with jurisprudence in this country is that we don’t have enough Wise Latinas and Real Blacks on the bench. As we all know by now, in order to properly understand and interpret the Constitution, you need to be able to draw from your personal experience of resenting white people.

  14. Could someone in the press corps ask Hillary if she’ll promise not to nominate anyone to the Supreme Court who has made donations to the Clinton Foundation?

    Also, just as a legal question to anyone who knows, are there any legal prohibitions against Supreme Court justices taking money from foreign governments or other interests while they’re on the Supreme Court?

    I could imagine Hillary nominating Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court, and I imagine there are a lot of people who would be willing to make donations to the Clinton Foundation, you know, if he were in that position.

    . . . and there’s a legitimate possibility that President Hillary could end up in the White House while the Democrats control the Senate.

    1. Also, just as a legal question to anyone who knows, are there any legal prohibitions against Supreme Court justices taking money from foreign governments or other interests while they’re on the Supreme Court?

      Sort of. All federal judges are to following the Code of Conduct. But its kind of quasi-law and enforcement is pretty much censure by other judges with the only real enforcement being impeachment. Its also an open question of how it applies to Supreme Court judges. Luckily we have not have any yet who have been openly corrupt (that we know of) in modern times**, so its not all that clear.

      http://www.uscourts.gov/judges…..tes-judges

      **Undoubtedly Hillary will see to it that this changes.

  15. Clinton would ‘look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, this of course means a white woman wants the court to look more like a United Colors of Benetton ad to assuage her white guilt, and not something proportional to the US’s actual ethnic diversity. She’d probably have a “colored people’s time” party upon the nomination, too.

    If anyone actually cared about representing the population as a whole, they’d finally pick someone who is from west of Mississippi and not from Yale or Harvard. Hell, I’d take someone who has even been west of the Mississippi.

    Side note: for all the strum and drang about the Wise Latina, she’s basically the only consistent defender of the 4th amendment left on the court. Sure, her reasoning is total SJW critical theory, but rejecting outcomes because of motives should be left as a vice of the left.

    1. rejecting outcomes because of motives should be left as a vice of the left.

      Except when the rationale gets written into decisions and shapes future precedent with a toxic justification. Means AND Ends matter.

      1. That is a really good point. Kind of a unique situation with judicial precedent. The justification for upholding 4th amendment challenges won’t be very helpful if its “because the suspect is black and cops hate black people” rather than “because the search was unreasonable (regardless of the identity of xir suspect).” I still think Sotomeyer would not go that route in a majority opinion, however. But we shall see.

  16. Clinton would ‘look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country
    -x-
    Suggestion: you might want to steer away from lawyers and judges then, they’re way overrepresented in the current court.

    Let’s get a 28-year-old Asian video game coder in there, damn it! FOR DIVERSITY!

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