(The Hill) President Barack Obama will announce his Supreme Court nominee Wednesday during an 11 a.m. event in the Rose Garden, according the White House. (WT-my money’s on Obama being 22 minutes late)
In an email message with the subject line “I’ve made my decision,” Obama did not name his pick. But he wrote that he searched for candidates who have an “independent mind, unimpeachable credentials, and an unquestionable mastery of law.”
The announcement will kick off a fierce confirmation battle with Republicans in the Senate, who have pledged to not hold hearings or votes on Obama’s nominee.
The president made reference to the coming battle, arguing it’s the Senate’s duty to give fair consideration to his nominee.
“I’m confident you’ll share my conviction that this American is not only eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, but deserves a fair hearing, and an up-or-down vote,” he wrote.
What will the GOP do? I’m in favor of holding long, long, long hearings. First in committee, which should take 5 or 6 months. Then, discussion in the full Senate, with a vote scheduled sometime in mid-November. Then the GOP should vote overwhelmingly against the candidate. Of course, that’s where it all breaks down, because, can we trust some in the Senate to stay strong? Perhaps that’s what Mitch McConnell was worried about when he said there would be absolutely no consideration on a SCOTUS pick till the new president is installed. Nor has McConnell backed down on that position.
Obama has reportedly narrowed his list to two people: Sri Srinivasan, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; and Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the same court.
Both Democratic appointees have moderate reputations and were confirmed by the Senate with widespread Republican support.
Both are very moderate. Srinivasan is anything but a hardcore leftist ideologue (I looked at about 20 articles on him), and has been rather non-partisan. Judge Garland was called a “model, neutral judge” by SCOTUSblog back in 2010. This could be a fakeout by Obama, offering a very moderate judge, who may or may not swing the court to the Left, and then, when the GOP says “not going to happen”, Obama offers up a hardcore leftist, putting the blame on the GOP. This is Obama’s M.O. He likes to create fights.
It may be that the GOP controlled Senate needs to give the candidate a legitimate hearing, and possibly even a vote and an approval during this election year. They have to consider that 2016 isn’t just about who will be president, but about keeping the Senate, keeping the House and a large majority, and keeping all the positions at the State level.