Obama nominates Merrick Garland for U.S. Supreme Court | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Obama nominates Merrick Garland for U.S. Supreme Court

Posted By on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 6:47 AM

click to enlarge garland2.jpg

A White House press conference is scheduled at 10 a.m. this morning for President Obama to announce his nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

She could be the reincarnation of Learned Hand, and a registered Republican voter, and the Republican Party would vow to obstruct. Will public opinion make a difference?

UPDATE: The choice is Judge Merrick Garland.

Reuters wrote earlier on Garland and one other  possible choice:

Obama is likely to announce one of two federal appeals court judges, Sri Srinivasan or Merrick Garland, as his choice, a source familiar with the selection process told Reuters. Both Srinivasan and Garland are seen as having unique attributes that could weigh heavily in Obama's decision.

Srinivasan, 49, and Garland, 63, serve together on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That appeals court has served as a springboard to the Supreme Court for several justices including Scalia in recent decades.

Srinivasan, who was born in India and grew up in Kansas, would be the first Asian-American and first Hindu on the high court. Obama appointed him to the appeals court in 2013. The Senate confirmed him in a 97-0 vote.

He could appeal to the president's long-declared interest in bringing more diversity to the bench.

Srinivasan has served in the Justice Department under Democratic and Republican presidents and worked as a clerk to the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor, a Republican appointee.

Garland, who has earned praise from lawmakers of both parties, is the chief judge of the Washington appeals court, where he has served since being appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1997, winning confirmation in a 76-23 vote. Prior to that, he served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Attacks on Garland by right-wing groups have already begun. The theme: The next president shoujld make the call. Obama said president's do not stop working during the last year of their term. Nor should the U.S. Senate. If the oath of office means anything. "I hope they are fair," the president said. Garland's remarks were emotional, a tribute to his family and public service and the rule of law.

In case you're counting, Garland is Jewish. The court currently has three Jewish members and five Catholic members.

Arkansas's senators said they have no intention of considering the nomination. Here's John Boozman's statement.

Boozman plays with the truth on judicial nominations in the last year of a presidency, particularly in claiming he's following precedent set by Democrats. Here's a fact check on the assertion from Politifact. One key excerpt:

For example, George W. Bush forwarded nominees to the Court of Appeals "as late as September of his last year in office," said Lisa Holmes, a University of Vermont professor who specializes in judicial politics.

And that month, the Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee "shepherded through" many of Bush’s nominations even though "it did look very promising for President Obama" at the time, said Sheldon Goldman, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst professor who specializes in the politics of judicial selection
Here's Tom Cotton, who apparently thinks voters should decide who serves on the Supreme Court. That's not exactly "originalist" Constitutional thinking.

Here's the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee:

“We’ve seen this movie before: Washington Republicans don’t like how things are going, so they bring governing to an abrupt stop. Senate Republicans should do their jobs and give Chief Judge Merrick Garland the consideration he deserves by meeting one-on-one with him and by having a thorough hearing. However, we won’t be holding our breath since Senate Republicans have dug in on their position to shut down the process and let Donald Trump fill the seat. Over the coming weeks, we will hold Republican Senators accountable for their unprecedented obstruction as they continue to put political games ahead of fulfilling the basic responsibilities of their jobs.”    

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