Earlier today, we reported that Obama will be announcing his nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court that was left by Justice Antonin Scalia. Now, minutes before the official announcement, his choice has been revealed.
According to The Blaze, Obama will nominate Merrick Garland, a 63-year-old judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the Supreme Court today. However, this will likely be a huge waste of time, given the fact that Senate Republicans have promised to block anyone Obama nominates so that the next president can name someone to the Supreme Court instead.
Garland’s mixed record will do him no favors with Republicans, who will be particularly disturbed by his stance on the Second Amendment. Named to the D.C. Circuit Court in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, Garland went on to be part of the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit that struck down most of the Washington, D.C., handgun ban. However, he then joined Judge David Tatel in voting to have the full court reconsider the decision.
Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, wrote a National Review piece on Garland that further illuminates his stance on guns.
But Garland has a long record, and, among other things, it leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms. Back in 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision striking down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The liberal District of Columbia government had passed a ban on individual handgun possession, which even prohibited guns kept in one’s own house for self-defense. A three-judge panel struck down the ban, but Judge Garland wanted to reconsider that ruling. He voted with Judge David Tatel, one of the most liberal judges on that court. As Dave Kopel observed at the time, the “[t]he Tatel and Garland votes were no surprise, since they had earlier signaled their strong hostility to gun owner rights” in a previous case. Had Garland and Tatel won that vote, there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court wouldn’t have had a chance to protect the individual right to bear arms for several more years …
Garland thought all of these regulations were legal, which tells us two things. First, it tells us that he has a very liberal view of gun rights, since he apparently wanted to undo a key court victory protecting them. Second, it tells us that he’s willing to uphold executive actions that violate the rights of gun owners. That’s not so moderate, is it?
What do you think about Obama’s choice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.