For good reason, a foremost concern of many voters, both on the Right and the Left, is the Supreme Court. There could be up to three judge seats — perhaps even four — opening up in the next four years, and with the dominant, and quite frankly, unconstitutional, nature of the court today, the people who fill those seats could literally determine the fate of this country.
Many Republicans are supporting Donald Trump because of his potential court picks. They expect him to appoint judges who will be “conservative,” or take a more originalist approach to constitutional hermeneutics. That kind of court is ideal, but don’t expect it to be the court we get.
The polls indicate that Hillary Clinton is ahead, and I predict that she wins next month. If she does, one thing needs to happen immediately: Republicans in the U.S. Senate must give Merrick Garland a hearing and appoint him the day after the election.
But not all Republicans agree with me. At least one Republican on the judiciary committee said that the GOP will block Garland even if Clinton wins: “I don’t believe there would be a real substantive distinction, a real noticeable difference between the voting pattern of a justice who would be appointed by a President Hillary Clinton… and Merrick Garland,” said Senator Mike Lee.
Lee doesn’t believe there would be a substantive distinction, but why does he believe that? Many were surprised, and some upset, at how moderate of a choice Garland was for President Obama to make, so obviously the Left doesn’t believe that. Garland has proven himself a moderate, so far as judges go, during his career. Lee’s judgment isn’t based off of Garland’s record. He simply doesn’t believe there would be any distinction because he doesn’t want a Democrat-appointed judge.
There is no way Hillary Clinton would nominate someone as moderate as Garland if she wins, so Republicans better make a decision about that judge seat.
I understand that Lee wants a Republican-appointed judge, but he certainly won’t get that under a Clinton presidency. President Obama’s nominee is better than hers will be. Lee, and the Senate, must vote for the lesser of two evils, as so many Republicans have asked us to do with the office of the presidency.