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By Tom Cushing

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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Uploaded: Mar 16, 2016

In his own words, by nominating Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, President Obama has “played it straight.” So doing, he has also skillfully laid-down the winning hand he’s been dealt by the demise of Justice Scalia. As usual with his cerebral, far-sighted moves, this one takes some getting used-to.

So, how straight?

Garland is a consummate jurist with a well-defined track record – no games played there. Harvard-educated, he clerked on the Court, made partner early at a prestige law firm, and abandoned that lucrative path for a prosecutorial career. He’s been on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for two decades, so his approach is well-known. He was elevated to Chief Judge of his court, an honor among peers on the bench. He is known to be tough on crime, and is not an 'activist' in terms of the judiciary’s role.

Like his nominor, Garland is a centrist, a consensus-builder and nobody’s drama king. He’s also displayed the so-called ‘empathy’ or life experience that the Prez has sought in prior appointments. Some attorneys view the law as a relatively passive, intellectual and philosophical exercise. By contrast, Judge Garland’s approach is demonstrated by his taking charge in the aftermath of the 1993 domestic terror bombing at Oklahoma City.

He arrived on-scene amid body bags while the ruins smoldered, took charge and assiduously ensured that the federal investigation left little to legally dispute. He appointed assistants to keep the victims’ families apprised. That level of professional thoroughness, and his focus on real-life consequences predict well for the quality of a justice attuned to a living Court, serving contemporary human needs.

In more merits-oriented times, Judge Garland was pushed-for as a nominee by influential GOP Senators, notably Utah’s Orrin Hatch, before the appointment went to others. In Garland's 1997 Appeals Court confirmation process, Iowa’s Senator Grassley, current Chair of the Judiciary Committee stated on the floor of the Senate: “I, like most of my colleagues, can find no fault with the person the President has put forward …”. Grassley did vote against confirmation, but only because he thought the Appeals Court already had too many judges.

Had Mr. Obama chosen Not to play it straight, he’d have put forward a clearer liberal, someone younger than 63, and a nominee who might have more obviously appealed to an important voting bloc – an Hispanic, an African American like CA’s own 9th Circuit Judge Paul Watford, or the Asian-heritage Mr. Srinivasan. He might have gone for Iowan Jane Kelly, whose nomination would have embarrassed the intransigence of Senator Grassley, currently engaged in a difficult re-election campaign. An older Jewish white-guy carries none of that automatic Democratic allure.

Finally, it’s straight because this is how the constitutional system really ought to work. With the Prez and the confirming Senate at odds, a compromise choice placed starkly between their preferences is exactly the kind of deal the Founders envisioned. It’s also what fully 2/3 of the electorate wants to see – and that was Before they had a name to assign to the vacancy. Would I, for one, prefer a more reliably liberal new guy or gal? You bet. But is compromise here a virtue in the long game – the flow of history and the public interest in a constitutional democracy? Absolutely.

Is there more to it? Yes, indeedy.

This was also a deft choice, politically. It lays barer-still the obvious GOP jihad of obstructing All Things Obama. It comes at a time when the approval standing of the Prez is ascending, as the electorate ponders the qualities of his would-be successors.

It’s also coincident with numerous uncertain re-election prospects for Republican Senators – notably Grassley, Ayotte (NH) and Flake (AZ) the latter two of whom are already signaling a break with their leadership over meetings with the nominee, which may lead to hearings, which might just provoke a vote. If the Primaries have told us anything, it is that status-quo loggerheads are unacceptable, and will be punished by an unhappy electorate. So Obama extends a proper consensus candidate; Mr. Garland will be ignored at the GOP’s real peril.

The timing is also canny, coming on the heels of further tribulations posed by the Trumpian insurgency, staying power of which was further demonstrated just last night. The odds of a Trump hostile takeover of the Party, or of a potent third-party bid if he loses, just get better all the time – meaning that the election of a Dem becomes more likely. That puts a different gloss on the delay option.

Had Mr. Obama picked a more liberal candidate, it would have given the GOP cover to play out the clock on his term. After all, a liberal appointed later by Hillary (perhaps with a Dem Senate) beats a liberal appointed now by Obama – they therefore would have nothing to lose and could claim that they’re saving the country in the interim. Garland, however, is measurably better than their specter of a bra-burning banshee in 2017. Perhaps they should cut a deal?

Thus, in the immortal words of the philosopher Martha Reeves, the GOP Senate has got nowhere to run to, baby. And per the Vandellas: nowhere to hide.

Comments

 +   12 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

and per wikipedia: Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

And because congress (senate) won't do anything, the nominee has zero chance.

and we vote for congress, so aren't we to blame?

No wonder voter turn out is so low.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 16, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

How about this out of the box politicking scenario?

Don't hide Merrick Garland.

Put Merrick Garland on the late night talk shows.
Put Merrick Garland on all the Sunday news magazines.
Put Merrick Garland on all the prime and almost prime time news pundits programs.

In other words, expose this guy to the American voter, since the senate will not.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm

It's the dilemma of the California voter, eh SHale? We are a foregone conclusion, and candidates only stop by to pocket their allowances. Most of us don't accept much of the collective blame, since we voted-in candidates who'd be quite willing to entertain hearings on these issues. Other than running over to Reno to drive for GOTV efforts, there's not over much campaigning to be done, either. Kind of frustrating.

Although the Guvnah did weigh-in on walls recently -- I think he said he'd support one to keep out Trumpians who don't send us their best -- you know, the murderers, rapists and even some of them who are nice people.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by rosalindr@mytrainingdept.com, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 16, 2016 at 9:07 pm

rosalindr@mytrainingdept.com is a registered user.

Obama, who isn't a Liberal unless you are so right wing you can't tell the middle from the left, nominated a moderate for the Supreme Court, but it appears Republican extremists will reject him. So they either believe an establishment Republican will be elected or wait for Hillary or Bernie to appoint the next Supreme. Who knows whom Trump would appoint, but let's hope we never find out.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 17, 2016 at 11:48 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Hello? To 'reject' something it must be considered first, no?
Senate (as usual) won't do a thing on this nominee. Thank you GOP! And Congress for once again not doing what you were elected to do.
I feel for the nominee; he must know nothing was going to happen. sheesh


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 17, 2016 at 12:27 pm

For info, in case anyone wants to get involved: Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 17, 2016 at 12:45 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

thanks Tom. I did it.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Teri, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Obama (2006) the hypocrite:

"I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values."

Joe Biden:

"President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed."


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 8:58 am

Both of the circumstances referenced are poor analogies.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

Hi Dave -- care to elaborate? The board already knows what I think.

Thanks for considering.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kyle, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:24 am

Yes Dave, please elaborate. After all, the truth will and can set you free -- if you let it.

The judicial mouthpiece that your prez nominated will never make it. His stance on gun control is his demise.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:50 am

So Kyle -- same request. What is that stance, and how do you know?

Thanks.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 11:35 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Duh. the nominee will never make it because the GOP leadership won't take any action. To have a filibuster one must take action, no?
This is the senate doing ZERO under the guise of they want the American voters (those who bother) to pick a NEW President (not sworn in until like Jan?) who will then do another nomination.

Way to Go senate GOP leadership. Shuck your job because in 9 mos that will be a new Prez.

<sig>


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Kyle: okay, I'll start. Near as I can find, our President's nominee has No stance on gun control, having written Nothing on the subject in his 18 years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Now it's true that the NRA has knee-jerked its way to opposition, but they did not bring forth much evidence to explain their position.

In a 2010 bio on Judge Garland in the widely respected SCOTUSBLOG.com, frequent Supreme Court advocate Tom Goldstein wrote the following:

"Garland also notably voted in favor of en banc review of the D.C. Circuit's decision invalidating the D.C. handgun ban, which the Supreme Court subsequently affirmed. Garland did not take a formal position on the merits of the case. But even if he had concluded that the statute was constitutional, that view of the case would have conformed to the widespread view that, under existing Supreme Court precedent, the Second Amendment did not confer a right to bear arms unconnected to service in a militia. Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (2007) (see denial of rehearing en banc)."

In other words, his vote to rehear the case was not explained -- it could very easily relate to the simple fact that intermediate appellate courts are bound by Supreme Court precedent. Ant THAT would be evidence of an admirable level of judicial restraint, which conservatives favor. Now, I don't want to say that's a flimsy thread of on which to base one's opposition, but I wouldn't hang even Donald Trump's tiny hands on it.

So, how might anyone find out how he approaches gun control? You HOLD HEARINGS, that's how.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Rick, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 3:22 pm

On the issue of guns, Garland was in favor in 2007 of reviewing a case invalidating Washington’s handgun ban


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cindy D, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Washington Times:

In one 2000 case, Judge Garland, who sits on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, upheld a Clinton administration effort to store gun-buyers’ records.

Later in the decade, he joined other judges in a failed bid to reconsider the landmark case that would eventually establish the Second Amendment’s protection of a personal right to bear arms.

Apparently Tom has trouble telling the whole truth. The other problem is he "ducks and covers" in regards to the "Biden Rule."


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Nonsense -- the '2007 case' (Rick) and the 'later case' (Cindy) are both the 'Parker' case quoted in the SCOTUSblog paragraph of my comment just above. There is no indication why he voted for rehearing -- repeat -- none. It is not the basis for answers -- rather it's the basis for questions In A Hearing. That is, unless you're afraid he might have a perfectly good answer.

The issue in the other case didn't involve guns, but interpretation of a statute about how long to keep records under the Brady bill. He deferred to the agency's interpretation of the statute, which he usually does, regardless of the issue. That's just how he rolls, and it is hardly controversial -- unless you are straining past an aneurysm for some flimsy basis to deny him a simple opportunity to be heard.

Let him be heard -- do your job and then your worst at the Hearing -- and then decide whether he's a proper nominee. Even David Brooks, stalwart Republican, believes "this is the best deal the GOP Senators are going to get, and they ought to take it." (News Hour, today). It's a-coming.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Leslie, a resident of another community,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Tom, you base your opinions on articles posted around the web. In fairness, so does the "other" side. As for me, I could care less what Mr. Garland thinks about gun control because he can't take away my right to bear arms. Period.

Moving on... Teri expressed in her post what what really matters. Why don't you try to debate what she posted instead? Ya know, the Biden Rule. What say you?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I agree with Leslie. Sorry Tom, but I believe you are missing the point. This is about past precedence in the process of selecting a new justice to the supreme court. Obama stated that he made a mistake regarding the Alito filibuster. Okay, no problem; except that he should not condemn others for basically wanting to do what he did.

The president appears to change his mind when it suits him. After all, look how quickly he changed his mind on gay marriage.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing , a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm

HI Leslie -- okay, here goes. Not all websites are created equal, in terms of their credibility. SCOTUSBLOG.com has won a Peabody award for the quality of its work. It is credible, as is Goldstein, who has argued many (many) cases before the Supremes. The Rev. Moon's WashTimes, not so much, but your mileage may vary.

As to the Biden Rule, I've looked everywhere, including in the Rules of the Senate (they are written down) and Nowhere can I find a Biden Rule. There's a good reason: It.does.not.exist. Here is its description in Politifact, which is also just another website -- that has won a Pulitzer for its work. Web Link

I will quote a bit of it here, and you have the link:

"We wanted to use our In Context feature to lay out what Biden said back then outside of McConnell’s sound bite. Readers can determine if it’s relevant now.

Biden's floor speech was on June 25, 1992, more than three months later in the election cycle than it is now.

There was no Supreme Court vacancy to fill.

There was no nominee to consider.

The Senate never took a vote to adopt a rule to delay consideration of a nominee until after the election."

So, no Biden Rule. I'd add that what it amounts to is a statement that Senators like to have influence, and I think Biden was wrong then on the merits. The fact remains that nothing happened -- no peremptory snub, no refusal to meet, no refusal to hold hearings (which is the "advice" part of advice and consent), no refusal to hold a vote ("consent"). It was all hypothetical.

This is not hypothetical. The Constitution's pretty clear on the process. And it would be the same process if the notorious RBG had stroked-out, instead of Mr. Scalia. Sometimes, you just have to grind your teeth and make the best of a 'bad' situation.

I don't agree with David Brooks very often, Dog knows, but he IS a leading conservative pundit. And he's right this time. Garland now is much better for his team than a younger, much more liberal judge appointed by President Clinton or Sanders in January.

And remember, all we're talking about is whether to muzzle this nominee, or give him a chance to be heard, according to a process in place for over 200 years. Which one is the American way? Do we Squelch, or listen, question and then vote? They've even got the majority in a straight party-line vote. Why not let the system work?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

Geez, topic drift.
The bottom line is should the senate be allowed to do 'nothing' in regards to considering a supreme court nominee? It would be one thing to at least 'pretend' to consider and then vote the nominee down. Quite another to publicly state it will never come to a vote, let alone be considered.
I wonder if congress knows (or cares) about their approval level?
I also wonder how a GOP member can walk around and be proud of themselves. sheesh.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tim, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Hey sHale, you proud of the communist and the liar? You support them?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm

So, 'Tim' and 'Leslie' --are you related, sharing that IP address? If not, Leslie -- I think I know who took your computer.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Ralph , a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Sadly, even the best of Web sites don't always have credible information.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by rosalindr@mytrainingdept.com, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 12:12 am

rosalindr@mytrainingdept.com is a registered user.

In a 5 to 4 decision in 2008 the Supreme Court decided that "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home." Web Link

Scalia voted with the majority. Garland, who is considered a moderate overall, would have swung that vote over to the other side.

So Kyle is correct. Republican opposition appears to be based on Garland's position on the 2nd Amendment.

Roz


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 7:03 am

Roz -- Not so fast. You have assumed Garland's position on the gun case, popularly known as 'Heller,' which was written by Scalia in 2008. Ask your Mama about assumptions.

As described in the discussion above, Garland only voted to re-hear that case among all the judges of the DC Circuit. Those votes are not explained. He MAY have thought it was wrong on the merits, or he MAY have thought that the 3-judge panel improperly overturned Supreme Court precedent. Respecting precedent is very much in keeping with his general approach set forth in many other cases, and that's good news for conservatives, who traditionally favor the status quo.

Or he MAY have had some other reason. The point is: we do not know. And the greater point is: that's exactly why you hold hearings -- to seek answers and avoid assumptions! So, senators -- hold hearings!

It is very clear that Garland is not Scalia, who was far-right on the political/judicial continuum (few people are). Garland's opinions show him to be more toward the middle of the left-right range. Of course, that also means he's not far left. That's why he's probably a good deal for the GOP under the circumstances. But we won't really know until the hearings.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 8:14 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Communist? Huh? U smokin something?
I say the congress doesn't do their job (most days) and I become a communist? Explain.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 8:18 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Roz: What GOP opposition? they aren't considering the nominee. Isn't that what this article is about?
To 'oppose' you must 'do' or 'consider'. That certainly isn't being done. We can thank the GOP for that.
and please, gun control non-stop debate is down the street, to the right. Walking distance for you. :)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Todd G, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 9:08 am

Tom Cushing said: "Ask your mama about assumptions." Wow, LOL!!! Okay, Mr. Full of Himself, try this one on for size. Obama hates guns. If he had is way, no one in this country would own a firearm, period. Now, doesn't it make sense that he would nominate a justice with the same thoughts on gun control? After all, if it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck. Roz is correct about her assumption.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 9:48 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Uh, Todd? Yo'mama, too. Obama put This guy forward precisely because he's Not a clone of the Prez, which is intended to make him More palatable to the conservative side of the aisle. Indeed, Garland was both the oldest and least liberal of his likely choices.

And one mo' time -- we do not know what he thinks about guns, based on what he hasn't written -- what we Do know, from what he has actually written, is that Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, praised him to the stars previously :

"His intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned... His legal experience is equally impressive... Accordingly, I believe Mr. Garland is a fine nominee. I know him personally, I know of his integrity, I know of his legal ability, I know of his honesty, I know of his acumen, and he belongs on the court. I believe he is not only a fine nominee, but is as good as Republicans can expect from this administration. In fact, I would place him at the top of the list."

Hatch also practically dared Mr. Obama to nominate him, just last week. From Breitbart:

“The President told me several times he’s going to name a moderate (to fill the court vacancy), but I don’t believe him,” Hatch told us.

“[Obama) could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man,” he told us, referring to the more centrist chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia who was considered and passed over for the two previous high court vacancies.

But, Hatch quickly added, “He probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the (liberal Democratic base) wants.”

That's a pretty strong endorsement. You might want to warn Senator Hatch, who only knows Garland personally.

Or, there's one very good way to find out if our Mamas were right -- hold hearings. What do you have to lose, or fear, Todd?


 +   21 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm

I'm NOT convinced that Tom is a control freak.

I'm not the kinda soul that refers to others in derogatory terms...so there!!!

that's my policy...can we all get along?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Ado Minemme, a resident of another community,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 3:26 pm

It's always easier to attack the person than the message, cholo. I don't see anything wrong with giving this nominee his chance, do you?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

>>>>I don't see anything wrong with giving this nominee his chance, do
you?

Amen! Make the senate do the job they were elected to.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 21, 2016 at 8:53 am

(1) “Look at (Justices Alito, Sotomayor and Kagen), all extremely well qualified for the court, and the votes were, I think, strictly on party lines … or close to it, and that doesn’t make any sense. That suggests to me that the process is being used for something other than ensuring the qualifications of the nominees.”

“When you have a sharply political, divisive hearing process, it increases the danger that whoever comes out of it will be viewed in those terms. If the Democrats and Republicans have been fighting so fiercely about whether you’re going to be confirmed, it’s natural for some member of the public to think, well, you must be identified in a particular way as a result of that process.

“We don’t work as Democrats or Republicans, and I think it’s a very unfortunate impression the public might get from the confirmation process.”

(2) “I don't agree (with the Republicans). We need somebody in there to do the job and just get on with it … You just have to pick the best person you can under the circumstances, as the appointing authority must do. And it's an important position and one we care about as a nation, as a people. And I wish the president well as he makes choices and goes down that line — it's hard.”

(3) Anytime Judge Garland disagrees, you know you’re in a difficult area.”

Who would say such things?

(1) Chief Justice John Roberts, February 4, 2016. Web Link
(2) Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, appointed in 1981 by President Reagan, Feb 16, 2016. Web Link
(3) Roberts again, at his own confirmation hearing, 2005.

Senate: Do Your Job.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Teri -

Regarding your two quotes, above:

Obama:

"I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values."

Obama's opposition was to the nominee himself (and, presumably, his judicial philosophy), not whether Pres. Bush II was entitled to make a nomination.

Joe Biden:

"President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed."

As I understand it, this statement was made in June of an election year -- after the Supreme Court's session had ended (in June) and in response to the rumor that a Republican appointee to the Court might be intending to resign over the summer, to give the President (Bush I) an opportunity to appoint a new Justice -- not because there was an opening already that needed to be filled, but because the right might be trying to engineer a resignation and replacement (in 1992) before a Democrat could be elected to the Presidency and take office (as ended up happening).

So, neither attempted analogy is apt in the current circumstance, where there is an actual opening on the Court occurred in February during a Supreme Court term (through Justice Scalia's death) and the Republican Senate's position was announced even before a nominee was presented.

Pure politics, which I believe will come back to bite the Republicans -- either through a more liberal nominee next year (if the Democrats retain the White House), or through election disaster this November for Senate Republicans who are up for election. Already we see some of them backing away from Sen. McConnell's hardline position.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by NRAILA, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Mar 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA, says Merrick Garland’s record on the Second Amendment is unacceptable to anyone who respects the U.S. Constitution and an individual’s fundamental right to self-protection.
He is the most anti-gun nominee in recent history. This should come as no surprise, given President Obama’s disdain for the Second Amendment. He has consistently shown a complete disregard of the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Garland’s history of anti-Second Amendment rulings support the conclusion that were he to be confirmed he would vote to overturn Heller.
• In 2007, he voted to give D.C. a second chance to have its handgun ban upheld after a three-judge panel struck it down. At the time, this was the most significant Second Amendment case in America.
• In 2004, Garland voted against rehearing another Second Amendment case (Seegars v. Gonzales), effectively casting a vote against the individual right to keep and bear arms.
• Justice Scalia was the author of Heller v McDonald. Heller affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Heller decision stands in the way of gun-control supporters’ ultimate goal of banning and confiscating guns.
• If Heller is overturned, the Second Amendment for all intents and purposes would cease to exist.
• In 2000, Garland voted in favor of the federal government’s plan to retain Americans’ personal information from gun purchase background checks despite federal laws prohibiting national firearm registration and requiring the destruction of these records.
• Judge Garland weighed in on several significant firearms-related cases, including Parker, Seegars, NRA v. Reno,. He voted against the rights of firearm owners on each occasion.
The examples of Garland’s disdain for the right to keep and bear arms go on and on, including in a major case upholding the then-existing Clinton “assault weapons” ban against a constitutional challenge
It’s almost certain that Garland agrees with Hillary Clinton when she said “the Supreme Court is wrong” that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
In his nomination, President Obama has again placed partisanship and antagonism towards gun owners above the higher callings of his office.
If Garland is confirmed, Obama would be taking America back in time to an era where Supreme Court justices uphold the anti-gun policies of the president. Obama is hoping Garland will overturn the Supreme Court precedent that stands in the way of confiscatory gun control, like the gun ban and confiscation programs implemented in Australia.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

gee, whiz doesn't matter "NRAILA". Nominee won't be considered. No hearings, zippo. And please, only a single issue with a new nominee. Shouldn't you open your view to include something else besides gun control? sheesh


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Cholo -- those last two comments were beyond the pale. Knock it off, please.

NRA: there's double-counting of the cases in your post. As discussed above, there's no way to know why he voted the way he did on the DC gun ordinance matters, none of which was on the merits of the case, and for all of which there are numerous possibilities.

That's why you hold hearings, which now 80% of Americans favor, including a majority of Republicans. It's not why you insultingly refuse to even meet with a nominee to the highest court in the land.

On the Reno case, the only Q was how long the agency gets to keep its records. He deferred to the agency's view, which he normally does. Again, it's only significant if you are seeking a colorable shred of a reason to deny a fellow American and distinguished jurist his opportunity to be heard. Vote him down later, if you choose, but in all fairness, hear him out.

It's awfully transparent as a place to try to hide, and it's the kind of obstructionism that rank-and-file citizens are sick-to-death of. The GOP jihad would be wise to play it straight, but jihadis are not famous for good sense.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 1:08 pm

To the "Parrot" NRA-IRA:

Apart from your monolithic opposition to Judge Garland solely on gun ownership issues, you might do well to actually read the cases that you are citing (and misrepresenting), instead of just parroting what the NRA tells you to say.

It might make the conversation here more interesting (and factual).


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

GOP Jihad?Really? You need to take a field trip to the middle east before you blog again. Are the GOP idiots? Fine I can live with that but stop with the Jihad talk you make yourself look as stupid as they are.



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