POTUS Nominates Garland To Supreme CourtPosted: March 16, 2016
President Barack Obama nominated D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland, 63, to be fill the seat on the Supreme Court created by the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland has served on the federal appeals court in Washington since 1997, after a distinguished career as a prosecutor with the Department of Justice.
Although the United States Constitution says that the U.S. Senate shall provide “advice and consent” on a president’s judicial nominees, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R. Ky) has repeatedly stated that the Senate will not hold confirmation hearings to consider any nominee until after the presidential election next November.
As I explained a few weeks ago on WNPR, the vacancy created by the death of Justice Scalia has the potential to fundamentally alter the balance of power on the Supreme Court for a generation. The Supreme Court has had a conservative majority for nearly fifty years. Thus, nominating a new justice who is likely to vote with the “liberal ” justices on the court (e.g., Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) will have a dramatic impact on how the court decides difficult constitutional cases involving “hot button” issues like abortion, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, voter id laws, etc.