Harry Reid throws in the towel on Garland confirmation before November

posted at 11:31 am on March 26, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Not that I expect the liberal army in political media to stop flogging this dead horse the election is over, but the actual fight in Congress over the nomination of Merrick Garland seems to be at an end. The clearest signal yet for such a conclusion came when Harry Reid took a few gaggle questions and changed his stance to one of saying that Garland would be confirmed after Hillary Clinton is elected. (Yahoo News)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid predicts the Senate will confirm Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court after Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election in November.

The Nevada Democrat says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider a high court nominee until a new president offers a nomination for the vacancy is “dumb advice” for Republican senators.

Reid said at a news conference that it would be foolish for Republicans to wait until after the election. But he predicted Democrats would win the White House and Republicans would choose to confirm the moderate Garland over a Clinton nominee, who might be more liberal.

Here’s a brief snippet of the video.

Perhaps it’s just me, but Harry seems to be a bit out of the loop or off his game now that he’s on the glide path toward retirement. In the old days he probably would have stayed in there swinging, demanding hearings and a vote all through the dog days of summer. It’s a winner with his base leading up to the election and it never hurts to maintain an aggressive stance in a food fight such as this. But for whatever the reason, he seems to be meekly accepting reality and moving on to the next subject of debate.

The second part of this curious response is the idea that they would confirm the supposedly “moderate” Garland after Clinton wins the election. (Assuming she does, of course.) There are far more liberal (and “demographically diverse”) choices out there who would make the base much happier. If there are no hearings prior to the election it’s not at all far fetched to picture Barack Obama withdrawing the nomination and just leaving it a couple more months so Hillary can fill the seat. I’ve been wondering recently if the Senate could confirm a nominee who had been withdrawn, but it seems unlikely in the extreme even if it were technically possible.

The one thing Reid did get correct, however, was the fact that Mitch McConnell isn’t giving an inch on the subject, as shown during an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News.

CHRIS WALLACE: So, final question — just to make it clear — you’re saying no consider — no consideration of Judge Garland by this Congress even if Hillary Clinton wins the election? No consideration by this Congress? You’re going to stand firm on that even in a lame duck session?

MITCH McCONNELL: Yes. I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm in a lame duck session a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Business that represents small businesses that have never taken a position on the Supreme Court appointment before. They’re opposed to this guy.

I can’t imagine that a Republican majority Senate, even if it were assumed to be a minority, would want to confirm a judge that would move the court dramatically to the left. That’s not going to happen.

We’ve had more than our fair share of quibbles with Mitch McConnell in the past, at least in terms of how hard of a line he’s taken in fighting the Democrats, but on this one he gets a full tip of the hat. I’m sure there is some sort of strategy being cooked up to allow potentially vulnerable senators who are up for reelection to distance themselves from this position, but the leadership seems to be holding the line in the face of relentless media criticism. Good job, Mitch.

ReidMcConnell


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