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Meet Obama’s SCOTUS Nominee: Merrick Garland

Meet Obama’s SCOTUS Nominee: Merrick Garland

Who doesn’t look anything like me.

Numerous news reports indicate that at 11 a.m. this morning Obama will hold a press appearance to introduce Merrick Garland, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as his nominee to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia.

We will add additional information regarding Garland soon. Not that it likely matters, since Republicans in the Senate have promised not to act on any nomination until the next president. Though, wondering if that will change if Trump is the Republican presidential nominee and it becomes obvious he will lose the presidency and Republicans might lose the Senate, in which case Garland may be less bad than whoever Hillary picks. I predict some wobbling.

But first, the really important question: Do you really think he looks like me?

I’m not seeing any resemblance.

Merrick Garland William Jacobson

More on Garland

Apparently Obama has had Garland in the back pocket waiting for this moment, USA Today reports:

Merrick Garland almost made it to the Supreme Court six years ago, but he was saved for a time when President Obama might need someone palatable to Republicans to replace a conservative justice.

A time like now.

Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — the most common stepping-stone to the Supreme Court — comes straight out of central casting.

Like five current justices as well as the late Antonin Scalia, who he would replace, Garland attended Harvard Law School. Like Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, he’s a former prosecutor. Like Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he comes from the powerful D.C. Circuit court.

Garland isn’t even the first Supreme Court nominee to earn undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, clerk for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, work at the Justice Department, become a partner at a major Washington, D.C., law firm, and serve on the D.C. Circuit . Roberts did all that.

Faced with the opportunity to nominate the court’s first Asian American, third African American or fifth woman in history, Obama opted for a mild-mannered Jew from Chicago who may be the most difficult of all the potential nominees for Republicans to rebuff.

Why is the a “smart” move by Obama? Think Progress notes:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the longest serving Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, offered his own thoughts on who President Obama should nominate to fill the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last week. “[Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man,” Hatch told the conservative news site Newsmax, before adding that “he probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants.”

(added) Just after the announcement I appeared on the Jim Vicevich Radio Show:

UPDATE – This is bad, really bad. One of my kids saw this post and texted me:

“Hey, I just read your article about garland as the scotus nominee. I saw a picture of him a couple of days ago when he was rumored to be on the short list and I totally thought he looked like you hahaha”

UPDATE 3-18-2016 – This is getting ridiculous. A group of students told me today they all thought Garland looked like me when the nomination was announced.


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OneVoiceInAmerica | March 16, 2016 at 10:37 am

No Professor, he would wish to look like you. 😉
And we would wish him to think like you!

This is a trick question right?
1- Uhmmm… you are both white guys?
2- Uhmmm… not at all?
3- Uhmmm… given the current political state of this Country..
why yes, it is the really important question?

JimMtnViewCaUSA | March 16, 2016 at 10:57 am

Yeah, some similarity but you’re more handsome 🙂

The guy is against the 2nd Amendment. No way he gets approved in an election year. More discussion here for those fascinated.

Too liberal on guns. Uncomfortable with a court that is still all Jewish and Catholic.

Don’t give him a hearing.

Very first question: How many decisions has he voted one way on that have been overturned/upheld by SCOTUS?

Why would Obama settle for a cheap imitation of the Professor, when he could get the real thing?

You both wear glasses, part your hair on the same side, have strong chins and have a similar head tilt and half smile in your headshots. (And both have a lazy left eye?)

But otherwise, you don’t look the same. He has a Christopher Lloyd-ish face (cheek bones, brow, eyes, nose), you don’t.

He’s not Black or Female. I can only surmise that he is Gay.

If not – the Libs will be furious!

    DaMav in reply to MattMusson. | March 16, 2016 at 11:26 am

    or Transvestite

    No. This is a sacrifice play by Obama. He’s using Chief Judge Garland as a political weapon. This is all about having a candidate hanging out there during an election season so that Obama can go out every single day and hammer the 24 Republican Senators up for election about how “they’re not doing their Constitutional duty.”

    If Obama was serious about attempting to get a candidate onto the SCOTUS, he would have chosen someone younger and more liberal (although Garland has his particular liberal bent).


The argument in the media and the big push is “Well, this is about the best pick you could possibly get out of a Democrat President.

I don’t want the best pick from a Democrat President.

I want the best pick from a PRINCIPLED CONSERVATIVE, or barring that, at least a principled Republican (or barring that, at least a Capitalist RINO [aka Trump, at which point I’ll take what I can get]).

Uncanny dissemblance.

Jewish, Catholic, perhaps one Protestant? Whatever. American first.

ScottTheEngineer | March 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm

From what I read about him he seems acceptable. About the 2nd amendment case, He agreed to rehear a case. That’s not the same as agreeing or disagreeing with the subject. I’d be interested to hear how he interprets the constitution as far as the 2nd amendment and Obamacare (forcing you to purchase a product as a condition of citizenship or face penalizing taxation).
Wow, Wikipedia updated quick.
From 2010

“In 1995, President Clinton nominated Garland for an opening on the D.C. Circuit, and he received a hearing in December of that year. During that confirmation hearing, Garland was asked about “judicial activism.” He answered that “[f]ederal judges do not have roving commissions to solve societal problems. The role of the court is to apply law to the facts of the case before it ““ not to legislate, not to arrogate to itself the executive power, not to hand down advisory opinion on the issues of the day.””

    So what? I recall Kagan saying similar things at her confirmation hearing, and she was lying. Lying to advance your political agenda is a time-tested progressive tool.

    Obamacare (forcing you to purchase a product as a condition of citizenship or face penalizing taxation).

    The NFIB decision specifically said Congress can not do that.

      ScottTheEngineer in reply to Milhouse. | March 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm
      The fee for not having health insurance in 2016

      The fee is calculated 2 different ways – as a percentage of your household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.
      Percentage of income

      2.5% of household income
      Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

      Per person

      $695 per adult
      $347.50 per child under 18
      Maximum: $2,085

        It doesn’t matter how it’s calculated. What matters is that it’s not punitive. It must be set at a rate which allows a reasonable choice between paying the tax and buying the insurance. One sign of it becoming punitive would be if nobody chooses to pay it. If it brings in little or no revenue, then it doesn’t look like a tax. If it’s designed not to bring in any revenue, then it’s not a tax. And that makes it unconstitutional.

So how soon will McConnell cave? Can we get a pool going? Winner gets bragging rights?

Joe Biden with his hands in his pockets? Poor show, Joe!

I think Prof. Jacobsen looks more like Richard Meyer, NY Supreme Ct. judge from Essex Co.

Just skimmed this story. so don’t blame me if this is not an intelligent question.

Apparently the court he serves on now is an important district. But it sounds to me that this is the CAFC. The court where recently Judge Rader resigned from, where most of the US Patent cases get routed?

I can’t imagine that judges their get much of a record, and that judges often get appointed to SCOTUS.

    Valerie in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The CAFC is the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, with a a nationwide docket having to do with various types of Federal law, such as patent appeals and Merit Systems Protection Board Appeals.

    The DC Circuit is a regular circuit court liked the numbered circuits. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (in case citations, D.C. Cir.) known informally as the D.C. Circuit, is the federal appellate court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

    They are distinct courts, and both of them hold their regular hearings in DC.

      Milhouse in reply to Valerie. | March 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      And the DC Circuit is regarded as the farm team for the Supreme Court. More justices have come from there than from anywhere else.

Forgive me for going “off-topic”. Something I heard on Mr. Limbaugh’s show. I don’t listen much anymore but have after primaries. He mentioned this story but from a shadier source. Guess he never heard of google 🙂

A situation is brewing in Florida, and the facts are stranger then fiction. Another “Trayvon” has been killed.

    alaskabob in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    All Limbaugh was discussing was the point that the dead youth was just trying to earn a few extra bucks on the road to higher education …. I guess following in the footsteps of Ferguson’s “gentle giant”. Isn’t theft considered a supplemental income source like SNAP is for nutrition?

    Milhouse in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Does Florida still have the fleeing felon rule on the books? Remember that Tenessee v Garner only struck it down for state actors, not for private people.

      Garner doesn’t have anything to do with criminal liability for the officer’s use-of-force decision making, and so is irrelevant to the “fleeing felon” rule in that context.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Hands down, Professor J is far more handsome than this guy.

I just did this cartoon:

Sure he’s a moderate! I bet Obama and the Dems have compromising pictures of Merrick with a (fill in the blank)

Looks can be deceiving.

No more Harvard graduates!

Captain Obvious | March 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm

The radio has been blaring “bipartisan support! bipartisan support!” all day… and as evidence of this they trot out beltway barnacle O-RINO Hatch?!? Why, because Arlen Specter was unavailable for comment? Talk about damning with faint praise… Now I haven’t actually formed an opinion of the guy’s record yet, but the full court press hard sell from the BS media ain’t helping my trepidation.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Captain Obvious. | March 16, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I read that committee chairman Sen Grassley is firmly against hearings. Speculation is he finally got p.o.-ed at Obama, and also doesn’t want to trigger a primary challenge to himself

Latest rumor.
Forgive me for being so bold.
I don’t believe it, but I find the rumor to be delicious.

McConnell makes a deal with Obama. They will confirm the guy, and DoJ will indict Hillary before the fall.