Thursday, March 17, 2016

GOP Adopts "Biden Rule" on SCOTUS Nominee

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Yesterday, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to take Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the US Supreme Court.

Republicans are vowing to follow the "Biden Rule" in their response to the nominee.

And who is Merrick Garland?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he will follow the "Biden Rule" in the Republican response to the president's choice.

C-SPAN has made the video available of Biden's forceful speech back on June 25, 1992.

Senator Joe Biden made an impassioned demand that then President George H.W. Bush not be allowed to seat a Supreme Court Justice in an election year, because Bush, the elder, was running for re-election.

Biden said in part: "It is my view that if a Supreme Court justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed."

He continued, "The Senate, too, Mr. President must consider how it would respond to a Supreme Court vacancy that would occur in the full throes of an election year. It is my view that if the President goes the way of Presidents [Millard] Fillmore and [Andrew] Johnson, and presses an election year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over."

United Press International (UPI) reported, “Biden conceded that the court might have to operate with a member short this fall, but added, ‘This may be the only course of action that historical practice and practical realism can sustain.'”

Biden added that while it was the president’s “right” to nominate justices to the Supreme Court, it was equally his [Biden's] “right” to oppose and to block them.

The New York Times reported, "Biden, evading any responsibility for the nastiness of the confirmation fights over Robert H. Bork (who was rejected) and Clarence Thomas (who was eventually approved), explained that it was necessary to postpone any new potential appointments to the Court because of the danger of the 'radical right'."

So Senate Majority Leader McConnell says he and the Republican majority will follow the "Biden Rule."

So who is Merrick Garland?

Breitbart News gathered, from various news sources, 5 facts you should know about Merrick Garland:

1. Garland is considered anti-Second Amendment. As the National Review noted last week: “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” and voted “to uphold an illegal Clinton-era regulation that created an improvised gun registration requirement.” Obama will use his pick to pursue a gun control agenda.

2. Garland has favored environmental regulations. As SCOTUS blog noted in 2010: “On environmental law, Judge Garland has in a number of cases favored contested EPA regulations and actions when challenged by industry, and in other cases he has accepted challenges brought by environmental groups.” That could be very important, with Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the balance.

3. Garland’s positions on abortion and social issues are murky. Some liberals are worried that Garland may not be unambiguously pro-choice. Richard Wolf of USA Today writes: “During 19 years at the D.C. Circuit, Garland has managed to keep a low profile. The court’s largely administrative docket has left him without known positions on issues such as abortion or the death penalty.”

4. Garland would maintain the Court’s demographic profile. He is the second Chicagoan Obama has nominated. He is no “wise Latina,” and is the first man Obama has chosen. But Garland, like Scalia, is a graduate of Harvard Law, keeping the number of Crimson justices at five. If confirmed, he would also be the fourth Jew on the Court, preserving the odd exclusion of evangelical Protestants.

5. Republicans have supported Garland in the past. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in particular has been outspoken in his support for Garland as the best Republicans could expect from the Clinton administration. More recently, he suggested he would welcome Garland’s nomination but predicted that Obama would make a more ideological pick. That makes Garland harder for the GOP to oppose.

Additionally, the Heritage Foundation published an article late yesterday also revealing that Merrick Garland would most likely be the 5th vote on the Supreme Court needed to enact gun control.

Applause to the Republicans for getting this one right---with a prayer that they won't cave in for some reason that is to complicated for us common folks to understand.

The importance of Supreme Court Justices cannot be overstated. The next president could appoint as many as 3 or even 4 justices.

Another reason for getting it right in nominating Supreme Court justices is that religious freedom is increasingly under attack in our country.

A new 350-page study titled, "Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America," reveals that attacks on religious freedom have more than doubled in the past 3 years.

The report gives 4 or 5 examples per page throughout the well documented research.

Attorney Kelly Shackelford, head of Liberty First, writes in the introduction: "Hostility to religion in America is rising like floodwaters, as proven by the increased numbers of cases and attacks documented in this report. This flood is engulfing ordinary citizens who simply try to live normal lives according to their faith and conscience. It is eroding the bedrock on which on which stand vital American institutions such as government, education, the military, business, houses of worship and charity. It has the potential to wash away the ground that supports our rights, including freedom of speech, press, assembly and government by consent of the people."

Shackelford says, "Hostility to religion can be defeated in the legal system---but only if challenged by Americans like you."

He says much is changing in our culture, but, "The Constitution has not changed."

And that's the point. We must seat Supreme Court Justices who believe that as well, and reject the secular progressive notion that the Constitution is a living evolving document.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.