Hard to Admit But Give the Man His Due – McConnell Was Right about Garland

Here’s the absolutely hilarious money quote:

“Readers may recall the intense media pressure in 2016 to let President Barack Obama fill the vacancy created by the death of the great Justice Antonin Scalia. Much of the press corps adopted the Obama line that Merrick Garland, then an appellate judge, was a moderate and the even more preposterous Obama contention that senators had a constitutional duty to hold a Garland vote.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/thanks-to-mitch-mcconnell-11627938477?mod=opinion_lead_pos11

And, here’s the piece – it even has Charley Rose, the aging leftist sexual predator:

A recent Journal editorial urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to abandon his partisan challenge to Georgia’s new duly enacted voting law, given that a recent Supreme Court decision makes his case even more likely to fail. But the AG is not only sticking with his political campaign against Georgia. Now he’s inviting leftist lawyers at the Justice Department to seek political advantage for Democrats in other states, too.

Attorney General Garland’s Justice Department released new guidance last week on voting statutes affecting voting methods. It reads:

Since the 2020 election, some States have responded by permanently adopting their COVID-19 modifications; by contrast, other States have barred continued use of those practices or have imposed additional restrictions on voting by mail or early voting. In view of these developments, guidance concerning federal statutes affecting methods of voting is appropriate.

The Department’s enforcement policy does not consider a jurisdiction’s re-adoption of prior voting laws or procedures to be presumptively lawful; instead, the Department will review a jurisdiction’s changes in voting laws or procedures for compliance with all federal laws regarding elections, as the facts and circumstances warrant.

Speaking of presumptions, a casual reader can quickly glean that the Garland Justice Department presumes Covid-related changes to be positive. Justice should forgive readers who presume a political motive when the department suggests that laws that existed until early 2020 are not necessarily legal. The natural question is why were such laws not successfully challenged before Covid? Or is there something about Covid that changes the definition of voting rights under statute and court precedent?

What certainly has changed lately is the pressure from progressive leftists to use the federal government to conform state voting laws to the preferences of Democrats.


Instead of inviting his attorneys to challenge policies not enacted between March and November of 2020, Mr Garland ought to be urging a new spirit of restraint before launching another partisan attack on state laws. Last month Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote in the Journal about his state’s 6-3 Supreme Court victory over the Democratic National Committee in a case with some similarities to Justice’s case against Georgia:

The irony is that the DNC chose to attack Arizona, a state that offers some of the most convenient ways to vote. You can vote early in-person, vote on Election Day, or request a no-excuse absentee ballot. Don’t want to get out of the car? We also have drive-through ballot drop-off sites. Contrast that with other jurisdictions such as Delaware, Connecticut and New York, which require bureaucrats to approve your reason for absentee voting. Why are those requirements not being challenged? It’s clear that the DNC prefers to pursue its partisan power plays in what it deems to be battleground states.

Very few media folk warned that AG Garland would be such a partisan combatant. But at least he’s not serving a lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court, and Americans can thank Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) for that.

Readers may recall the intense media pressure in 2016 to let President Barack Obama fill the vacancy created by the death of the great Justice Antonin Scalia. Much of the press corps adopted the Obama line that Merrick Garland, then an appellate judge, was a moderate and the even more preposterous Obama contention that senators had a constitutional duty to hold a Garland vote.

Mr. McConnell, then the Senate majority leader, pointed out that traditionally the Senate majority did not act on Supreme Court nominees in an election year when the White House was held by the other party, and that tradition would be upheld.

But President Obama went ahead and announced the Garland nomination anyway on March 16, 2016, and also presumed to announce the start of a Senate confirmation process:

Tomorrow, Judge Garland will travel to the Hill to begin meeting with senators one-on-one. I simply ask Republicans in the Senate to give him a fair hearing and then an up-or-down vote. If you don’t, then it will not only be an abdication of the Senate’s constitutional duty, it will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair.

That afternoon, the Associated Press reported:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told President Barack Obama ‘s nominee to the Supreme Court that the Senate won’t consider his nomination.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart says the Senate’s majority leader spoke to nominee Merrick Garland by phone on Wednesday. Stewart says McConnell repeated his long-held position that the Senate won’t consider a nominee for the high court until the next president nominates one…

Stewart says McConnell felt it was more considerate of Garland to talk by phone, and not subject him to “more unnecessary political routines orchestrated by the White House.”

Stewart says McConnell wished Garland well in the Wednesday afternoon call, which the spokesman says did not last long.

That was just about that, but of course many media folk were not ready to quit the Garland campaign. Mr. McConnell appeared on a PBS program in June for an interview with Charlie Rose. It’s worth noting Mr. McConnell’s prescient remarks about the man who is now U.S. Attorney General:

CHARLIE ROSE: If Garland was nominated by Hillary Clinton, president- elect, to be a Supreme Court justice, would you support it?

MITCH MCCONNELL: Here`s the deal. We`re in the middle of a presidential election here. You would have to go back 80 years to find the last time a vacancy created in a presidential election year was filled. You have to go all the way back to Grover Cleveland to find the last time a Supreme Court [nominee for a] vacancy occurring in a presidential election year was confirmed by a senate of the opposite party. Let`s go back to 1992, Joe Biden was chairman of the judiciary committee… It wasn`t a vacancy, but he said gratuitously, … if there is a vacancy that occurs this year, he wouldn`t fill it. Chuck Schumer said 18 months before the end of George Bush, 43: If a vacancy occurred, they wouldn`t fill it. So what is everybody saying here? If you are in the middle of an election year for president, a vacancy on the Supreme Court will not be filled. And it is not about Merrick Garland personally, although the president calling him a moderate doesn`t make him a moderate. But it`s not about him personally.

CHARLIE ROSE: Well, but he has been supported by the Republicans in the past…

MITCH MCCONNELL: For lower court appointments. This is the Supreme Court we`re talking about…

CHARLIE ROSE: But are you not rolling the dice? Because some will argue that if, in fact, Hillary Clinton is elected president and she may appoint someone more to the left of Judge Garland, and therefore you`ll get something more than you might have gotten if Judge Garland, who is a man of temperament…

MITCH MCCONNELL: Yeah. I heard that argument. He`s a nice man. We will not get anybody any more liberal than Merrick Garland.

CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, I wouldn`t say that…

MITCH MCCONNELL: I would.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK.

MITCH MCCONNELL: I`ve looked at his record very carefully.

One thought on “Hard to Admit But Give the Man His Due – McConnell Was Right about Garland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: