Recently in Judicial Selection Category
Though the examples are few, they tend to support the right of Republicans to handle -- or not handle --this nomination as they wish.
To me, there are only two relevant issues.
1. Would Garland move the Court to the Left from what it was with Scalia, a direction opposite from what the country wants?
Yes he would. We don't need hearings to know that.
2. Would acting on Garland now effectively extinguish the citizens' chance to have a say at the election in eight months about the direction of the law?
Yes it would. We don't need anything but the calendar to know that.
I was hoping for a diversity pick. Alas, confirmation of Judge Garland would leave us with nine Justices all of whom went to Harvard or Yale.
I have been browsing Judge Garland's criminal and related opinions and haven't found anything noteworthy either way yet.
Should the Senate confirm him? Should Republicans even allow the machinery to start?
A "no" answer is, in effect, doubling down on the election. A victorious President Hillary Clinton would likely nominate someone further into left-wing judicial activism, making the Scalia->X transition a even larger shift than the Marshall->Thomas transition, currently the largest single-appointment shift in modern history. A victorious Republican candidate would likely appoint someone more aligned with Justice Scalia's views.
Is this a good hand to double down on?
On Wednesday, a judge in US District Court in Oregon will consider whether a constitutional challenge to federal actions that underwrite fossil fuel emissions may proceed. Brought by youth plaintiffs, and by me, on behalf of future generations, the lawsuit alleges that by permitting...and subsidizing the exploitation, production...and burning of fossil fuels, our government has caused or substantially contributed to the present emergency in which the very viability of a hospitable climate system is at stake. We argue that such federal actions infringe upon the fundamental guarantees of the Fifth Amendment, including the rights to life, liberty, property, and equal protection of the law.
Nevertheless, Mr. Obama has publicly predicted that Republicans, faced with a well-qualified candidate and a constitutional mandate to provide advice and consent, will ultimately relent and allow hearings.
By floating the name of Eighth Circuit judge Jane L. Kelly as a possible Supreme Court nominee, the White House is treating Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley as though he were a chump. The White House is hoping that because Kelly has worked in Iowa since 1994 and because Grassley supported her 2013 nomination to the Eighth Circuit, Grassley might face an "awkward dilemma," as a New York Times article puts it, if Obama were to nominate her.
I'm glad (but not at all surprised) to see that Grassley has forcefully rejected this ploy, reiterating his position that no nominee this year ("the person doesn't matter, see") will get a hearing. Further:
"You know, one of the questions I will ask them [in any meeting]," he said of the eventual nominee, will be "what they feel about being used as a political pawn."
The White House must be close to delusional if it thinks Judge Kelly's simply working in Iowa, and having Sen. Grassley return the blue slip for a job on the vastly less important Eighth Circuit, makes it likely, or even realistically possible, that Grassley would support a career criminal defense attorney, without any noticeable scholarship, to fill the seat of an intellectual giant like Justice Scalia. Sen. Grassley may be making a mistake on sentencing reform (he is in my view), but he is a serious man and a principled conservative who is not about to get hoodwinked by a transparent and, frankly, demeaning stunt.
Marc Thiessen has yet another "where you stand depends on where you sit" story in the WaPo:
On Jan. 27, 1992, President [George H. W.] Bush nominated [John G.] Roberts to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Roberts was immensely qualified for the job. He had served since 1989 as principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, arguing 39 cases before the Supreme Court, making him one of the country's most experienced Supreme Court litigators.Democrats have no monopoly on hypocrisy in this area, as I have noted before, but they do seem to be taking it to a new level. They are calling the stalling unconstitutional. No, it is not that, and I don't recall any Republicans saying it was when the shoe was on the other foot. This is bare-knuckle politics, and it seems that with every cycle the Democrats take nastiness to a new level when they are blockers and scream louder when they are the blockees.
But his nomination to the federal bench was dead on arrival at [Sen. Joseph] Biden's Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden refused to even hold a hearing on Roberts's nomination, much less a vote in committee or on the Senate floor. Roberts's nomination died in committee and was withdrawn on Oct. 8, 1992. It was only about a decade later that he was re-nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush -- and we all know the rest of the story.