On February 13th, 2016 renowned Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Scalia served our country for 30 years, leaving behind a conservative legacy–and also leaving behind his vacant seat on the Supreme Court. On March 16th, President Obama ignored the debate over whether or not he should appoint a nominee at all, and nominated Merrick Garland to take Scalia’s seat on the Court.
Known for his position as Chief Judge of the Federal Court of Appeals in DC, Garland seems on the surface to be a moderate judge–and Obama argued in favor of that position. A graduate of Harvard School of Law, Garland has worked in both the private and public sectors, as a Partner at Arnold & Porter, and also as a federal attorney. He was nominated to the Court of appeals by President Clinton twice: first unsuccessfully in 1995, and then successfully in 1997.
However, simply because Obama argued his opinion in a factual way does not make it accurate. Garland is not a moderate, but is simply not as far left as Justice Sonia Sotomayor. In particular, Garland would be crucial in helping the Democrats with at least one issue in the Supreme Court: gun control.
Judge Garland has professed a left-leaning bias when it comes to gun control, especially with regards to the rights of individuals:
- In 2000, Judge Garland upheld an effort to keep track of gun-buyers’ records (NRA vs. Reno).
- In 2007, Judge Garland supported a gun ban in DC (Parker v. District of Columbia v. Heller).
To nominate a Supreme Court Judge who defies the Second Amendment is ridiculous, but it’s nothing less than expected from Obama.
If Merrick Garland replaces Justice Scalia, the court would go from being middle of the line bi-partisan, to moderated liberally. This is a crucial time for both sides of the political spectrum. From Republicans trying to defund Planned Parenthood, to Democrats arguing for stricter gun control, the next Justice will be crucial to the agenda of both parties.
President Obama knew that, in order for a nominee of his choice to even come to a vote, he would have to pick someone he could claim was a moderate. Don’t be fooled by the media’s declaration of Garland as a “moderate,” because he would be anything but moderate if chosen to sit on the Supreme Court.