Thursday, April 07, 2016

Careful What You Wish For, Senators

Today, President Obama is speaking at the University of Chicago, where he taught constitutional law for 12 years early in his career. It's a sure bet the thrust of his remarks will be pointed criticism of Republicans who have refused to consider his nomination of Merrick Garland for the current Supreme Court vacancy.

Obama's appearance will be just another salvo in the attacks on Republican obstructionism that are part of the Democratic Party election campaign strategy. What the GOP leadership is doing is perfectly legal, but criticism about stalling by Congress does resonate with many voters. Nevertheless, we can be sure that the president's message today will have no influence on Republican legislators.

The GOP stall might not be smart

What would strike terror into GOP hearts would be a surprise hint by Obama that he might have some interest in Supreme Court service. After all, he is an expert on constitutional law as his Chicago Law School appearance reminds us. If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, which appears the most likely scenario at the moment, what's to stop her from withdrawing the Garland nomination and appointing Barack Obama?

Were I a GOP senator, I might be pushing hard for a quick opening of hearings on the Garland candidacy. He seems likely to be much more conservative than at least one of the alternatives.


Tom Sightings said...

Excellent suggestion!

Rummuser said...

Obama in your Supreme Court offers intriguing possibilities!

PiedType said...

I agree that the GOP is taking a huge risk not holding hearings on Garland. He's so much more moderate than some of the people a new Democratic president might nominate. Besides, not holding hearings could be costing them votes they need (although I suppose it could be gaining some as well). And where's the harm in holding the hearings -- and promptly voting down Garland's nomination? Seems to me a willingness to "cooperate" and hold the hearings would cast them in a favorable light, even if they reject the nomination.

I've heard it suggested that Obama could be nominated for the court. Can't think of anything the GOP would hate more than that. They've despised him as a two-term president. His lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court would put them all in early graves.

Jhawk23 said...

Yes, wouldn't that be a hoot! Just desserts. Even if the new nominee isn't Obama, the GOP should be thinking about the likelihood that a new Democratic president could nominate any number of candidates they would have far greater objections to.

joared said...

Oh, that's an idea that should incite fear in the Republicans to get on with vetting and accepting the man he's offered them!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't lump all Republicans into the same recalcitrant lot. Actually McConnell's great fear is that if he brings the nomination to the floor for a vote, then Garland will get the nod. All Mc is doing falls into the category of "payback" for what was done with Bush appointees and, Clinton appointees and Reagan appointees (remember Bork?). Tiresome isn't it.