Rumors around Washington are flying, and they’re pointing to a secret betrayal in the Democratic party leadership. Is President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination a political move to steal the wind from the Clinton campaign sails?
Their rivalry is one the worst-kept secrets in Washington. Eight years after the bitter and divisive 2008 Democratic primary, Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are hardly the best of friends.
Now, Obama may have found a way to sink the knife in deep with his nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court — and he may have done it with some secret help from across the aisle.
In public, Republican leaders have decried Obama’s attempt to stack the court during his last months in office.
But there are reports that the president and the GOP establishment have worked out a deal behind the scenes… one that would take the power to shape the court right out of Clinton’s hands should she be elected president in November.
“I’m told that the Republicans in the Senate actually sent some sort of a back-channel message to the White House,” NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported. “That if it were Garland that they would confirm him if the Democrats prevail in the presidential election, that they would confirm him in the lame-duck session and that the whole caucus would be on board, that it wouldn’t be a fight.”
Some senators have even admitted publicly they’d likely approve Garland in a lame-duck session if Clinton wins, including both Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
Easy: It’s a win-win for Obama and Republicans… and a lose-lose for someone they all detest.
By not holding hearings, the Senate can in effect keep Garland’s nomination in limbo.
He hasn’t been rejected. He hasn’t even had a hearing — and they can change their minds on that at any time.
If a Republican wins the White House, Garland’s nomination will be tossed and the Senate will wait for the new president to submit his pick for the High Court.
But if Clinton wins, she’ll get to submit a nominee — someone who shares her radical leftwing politically correct agenda.
Suddenly, Garland might not look like such a bad choice after all.
While he’s not a conservative, he’s certainly no liberal icon, either, like Clinton would likely appoint.
The liberal group Democracy for America denounced the nomination, calling it “deeply disappointing.” Another leftist organization, CREDO, said Garland’s track record “does not suggest he will be a progressive champion.”
And when his name was floated as a possible SCOTUS pick in 2010, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network called Garland’s potential nomination “the best scenario we could hope for.”
He also has something else going for him: Age.
Instead of a young liberal who could shape the court for generations, Garland is not only a political moderate but at the age of 63 would be the oldest appointment since Lewis Powell in 1972.
Since the 1970s, the average retirement age for the Supreme Court has been 78. That means Garland could serve for 15 years — or about as close to a short-term appointment as you can get on the Supreme Court.
– The Horn editorial team