On Wednesday, March 16th The President of the United States (POTUS) nominated Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). If approved by Congress, Garland will become the 113th Supreme Court Justice. Now, the heat is on as Republican legislators continue to strongly oppose President Obama’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice. Recently, Senate Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell asserted the Senate’s constitutional right to check the President. OOOooooo, things are already starting to get UGLY!! As they say in the deep South…”It is on like a chicken bone”!
With all of the checking that is going on, The Political Great Whine is looking forward to watching this power wrestling match! Usually, during the last months of the last term of a presidency, the President is considered to be a lame duck. Those last months usually drag on as the country turns its attention to the newbies competing for the highest office in the land. Well, you can call President Obama a lot of things but since he has moved forward with a Supreme Court Justice nomination, “lame” is NOT one of them! I do not know whether to get a jersey to root for a home team or blow the dust off the books from my political science courses! Thanks to the Internet, the latter will not be necessary.
Today’s post will chime in with an opinion of whether Congress’ check on the President is in the best interest of the people. First, Garland is an ivy-leaguer who graduated with honors from Harvard University and Harvard Law School. His resume is lengthy and for more details about it, you can read it in this Newsweek article. Overall, he seems to be the consummate public servant and his court opinions are widely considered to be neutral and balanced. Whether that would make him a good Supreme Court Justice, it seems we may never know since Congress is refusing to even consider the President’s nominations.
Now on to the good part. Even before President Obama announced a nominee, Rep. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he would not be supporting it. McConnell and fellow Republican lawmakers believe the vacancy should be filled by the NEXT president. HMMMmmm, so let me get this straight. This so called “check” that Congress is giving the President is not because President Obama is over-reaching his powers, but because they think somebody ELSE should do it? It is true that the constitutional Framers developed three branches (Legislative, Executive, Supreme Court) with the intent that each would check the other thus protecting its own powers. Again, the emphasis is on keeping power in check. How is the act of making a nomination to the Supreme Court an over-reach of power by the President? Congress has some “splainin” to do!
It is one thing for Congress to uphold their constitutional responsibility to evaluate nominees for approval/disapproval via the confirmation process; however, ignoring the President’s nomination and refusing to even begin the confirmation process because they think the next president should do it, seems plain ol’ wrong. One of the reasons given is because “the American people should have a voice” and that by electing the next president and letting the new president submit nominees, the people will be choosing. That sounds like fuzzy logic and by the way….YOOO HOOO Congress…the current President was elected by the people and he is still in office. He is not invisible and can hear you! What about the voice of the American people who voted for President Obama?
By Congress’s logic, President Obama might as well stop working, start playing catch with Bo, and look at timeshares. If that happened, the American people would be livid and Congress would impeach him for abdicating his responsibility! Heck…after giving a resignation notice at a regular job, you are required to work until your last day! So I don’t expect anything less from the POTUS. The American people spoke in 2008 and 2012 and until January 19th, 2017, President Obama had better WORK! If Congress really cares about the voice of the American people, then they should not ignore the American voices that elected the sitting President. By not blocking POTUS from nominating a SCOTUS, Congress would be doing a favor for all of US!
Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!