As you no doubt know, President Barrack Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court position that was vacated with the death of Antonin Scalia.
And as you probably know, key Republican Senators have vowed not to consider any Supreme Court nominanee until after the new President is sworn in. Senate leader Mitch McConnell has been quite firm he will not have a vote on Garland’s nomination. Kind of like Harry Reid refusing to allow some 300+ House-passed bills to be voted on in the Senate. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has been equally firm that his committee will not consider any nominee Obama puts forth.
But cracks are growing in the wall.
Several Republican Senators disagree with McConnell and Grassley. Illinois GOP Senator Mark Kirk has called for an up or down vote on Garland. John Cornyn of Texas and Nevada’s Dean Heller support having a debate about Garland. Orrin Hatch of Utah and others are also showing signs that they are up for a debate.
Why is this happening?
I don’t think it’s because of Democratic pressure to have a vote. The left seems to have added a line to the Constitution that says there is a certain window of time that the Senate has to consider a Supreme Court nominee. The Republicans have a two-word response to that.
You see, then Senator Joe Biden said in 1992 that no Supreme Court nominee should be considered by the Senate during the final year of a President’s term. George W. Bush was then President.
Karma is a bitch.
I think it has dawned on these Senators that if they wait until after January 20th, the likelihood is extremely high that the next Supreme Court Justice will be chosen by Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.
Given that setup, I think these Senators have surmised that Merrick Garland would be the least objectionable candidate. He is considered a centrist. The fear is any of the three above-mentioned candidates will nominate progressives, and in Trump’s case, he might nominate someone like Kanye West.
So the gamble is Ted Cruz (or someone else) will not become President. Now like many Republicans, my head explodes every time Republicans draw a line in the sand, then back down. That happens way too often. But this might be a case where the GOP (and the country) would be better off with Garland as compared to the alternative.