Reactions to the Supreme Court nominee

President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, to replace Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court. Garland seems to be a well-respected jurist, by all accounts not particularly ideological in any clearly identifiable way but instead someone who will bring a proper degree of thoughtfulness to the weighty matters the court deals with.

I have long-felt that the hard-to-define quality known as ‘judicial temperament’ should be the dominant factor in selecting judges at all levels and Garland seems to have it. Of course, since pretty much anyone (with the possible exception of Ted Cruz) would be less extreme than Scalia on the bench, the Republicans are going ballistic and vowing to stop the nomination.

The Daily Show looks at their reaction.

(This clip aired on March 17, 2016. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. doublereed says

    Honestly Garland seems to me like yet another example of blatant capitulation by Obama to the right wing. And of course the right-wing says no anyway.

    From what I understand is that he seems to be very close to Roberts in terms of style and ideology. And Garland has a terrible right-wing history on due process and the criminal justice. The republicans love Garland as a justice and have praised him constantly. He just seems like a good pick for a republican to make, but not at all for a president that we elected twice for being a liberal to make.

    I want supreme court justices that actually protect people’s rights, and you only get that from liberal justices.

    People have said that maybe it’s just a strategic move to get more seats in the election. That makes no sense to me, mostly because that’s being a total jackass to Garland. Obama wants Garland on the court.

  2. lorn says

    I suspect that Garland is something of a bank-shot by Obama. He is sufficiently liberal, I suspect he is likely more liberal than he lets on, that it wouldn’t be bad if he was seated. On the other hand he is attractive enough to the GOP that he causes internal conflicts between the hard right pushing rigid obstructionism and those who realize that there are good odds Garland may be the most conservative offering likely to come down the pike for the next five years. The friction is inflaming the conflict between the two sides and causing the conflict to be highlighted for the public.

    It also highlights an important issue for the Democrats. A theory for many newer voters on the left is that if you just get enough of a wave that the Democrats can flip the GOP and reverse the conservative trend of the last forty years. The cynical old-timers, myself included, think that no matter the size of any wave there will still be a majority of Republicans in the House. That that majority will always be able to stop any progress. That the size of any wave and the majority opinion of the American people, even a strong majority within the GOP itself, as demonstrated by their obdurate stance with Garland, means nothing.

    Expecting a wave (sometimes misnamed a “revolution”), no matter how vocal and willing to picket in the hundreds of thousands, is going to make any difference because the GOP gave up their ability to experience shame in the 90s.

  3. says

    First I’ll say I do largely agree with doublereed, but I also do see where the strategy could come in. As you may know, Chuck Grassley is the head of the committee. What you may not know is he is up for reelection this year. And now this right-wing group, Judicial Crisis something or another (you’ve likely heard of them, whatever their exact name is) has begun putting out this ad, even now that Garland has been nominated, that Obama is going to tip the balance of the court by putting a liberal judge on the court and that we need to support Grassley in his opposition.

    Anybody who’s been paying attention to what’s going on should be able to see that commercial as totally ridiculous. I would think even conservatives would have to find it a bit embarrassing. So on this I agree with lorn that this could cause internal conflicts, and that could not make me happier.

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