Obama’s Nuclear Option for the Supreme Court Vacancy Appointment

The Republicans are in near lock-step in obstructing Obama’s nomination for Antonin Scalia’s vacancy. Moments after Scalia’s death, the politic du jour was the same we have been seeing for the last seven years from the Conservative side of the aisle – if Obama is for it, we’re against it, even if it would help our cause, or we used to be for it when our guy was in charge. Then, after the obstruction is begun, figure out a good message, especially if damage control is necessary.

Then, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Justice of the DC Court of Appeals. True to form, Republicans and conservative groups alike stonewalled. In fact, Garland, having “been praised by Republicans in the past,” was a centrist choice for the President, a veritable olive branch to those who were against his pick, whomever it was, a position that was completely transparent and truly translated to, “We will not allow a liberal justice to be nominated to the court.”

Garland was problematic because Republicans and Conservative lawmakers and groups were unaware of the totality of his record, leading to sputtering tired platitudes and talking points. In fact, many Conservative groups actually fell on their swords, stating, “We don’t care who the President nominates, even f we don’t know the guy and he seems bloody decent, we know who Obama is, and we hates him, so we hates his pick.”

So I say to the President, call their bluff. Pull back the nomination of Merrick Garland. Nominate a serious Conservative. A strict Constitutionalist, whatever that means. Not to actually carry through with the selection, but to show the nation that the Republicans are nothing more than two-bit placeholders, caring naught for their constituency, but only for the perception to their voters that they are against Obama. So much so that they will fall all over their rhetoric about the court being weighted against their “principles,” the nomination being perfect for them.

Nominate David Barton.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    Yes, this sounds as if it will play out exactly like Obamacare did:

    Step one: Listen carefully to what Republicans say they want.
    Step two: Give it to them.
    Step three: Surprise! They don’t want it anymore!
    Step four: Wait for the observant and wise American public to figure out who is fully responsible for the paralysis in Washington, and punish them at the ballot box.
    Step five: Still waiting…

  2. Bruce says

    I’d rather go the other way and have Obama nominate the youngest lawyer on an ACLU list. Then tell the senate that if they delay, a more Democratic senate will confirm his pick in early January. That way, every time Obama helps a senate candidate, it is pressure on the current senators to act before this term ends in December. Still too long of a wait, but with a good outcome likely for the long term.
    The strategy of counting on the public to see it my way on absurd Republicans has disappointed me since 1980, when I was a Republican who felt Reagan should never and would never be elected.

  3. Domestic Queen says

    So what’s going to happen if a Democrat wins the Presidential race. Are the Pubs going to stonewall that nomination? I think they are truly cutting off their noses to spite their faces. It would be just desserts if the new President whoever he or she may be would nominate BHO for the Supremes. He is a constitutional lawyer after all. They would s*&t their pants.

    If the Flying Spaghetti monster fails and the Trump is elected, we can look forward to Judge Judy being nominated or maybe Marilyn Milan since she’s from Florida and we all know Trump is YUUUUUGE in Florida.

  4. lorn says

    The aspect tof this I don’t understand is what the GOP longer term game plan is. Odds seem to strongly favor a Democratic president in January 2017. Given that it is hard to see anyone other than Clinton or Sanders. Are they assuming that either of them will pick someone more conservative than Obama’s selection? The GOP could still resist.

    Except that the odds are the Democrats will narrowly take the Senate. At the very least the Democrats are a sure thing for increasing the number of seats in the Senate.

    With a narrow majority in the Senate and a Democratic president in 2017 it is hard to figure out how the GOP is calculating that they would be better off denying a moderate Obama candidate rather than waiting and ending up with what Sanders or Clinton are likely to nominate.

    Is this a sly insider ruse on the part of the GOP? We say we will resist but are really just angling for a more conservative offering. Hard to see how that would work. The president can always withdrawal the candidacy if it looks like the GOP is faking. On the other hand this may just be a reflexive obstructionism and they have no longer range plan. Perhaps they hope for, plan to cause, the end times before January 2017.

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