By Roger J. Katz, Attoney at Law and Stephen L. D’Andrilli
New York, NY -(Ammoland.com)- The New York Times’ Spin Zone Does Its Spin on Judge Merrick Garland to Deceive the Public
The Sunday edition of The New York Times newspaper generally plugs one lead article.
It begins on the front page with a banner graphic and continues for at least two full pages within. On Sunday, March 27, 2016, Easter Sunday, the lead article concerned Obama’s most recent nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland.
Judge Garland presently serves as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a position that ambitious jurists, who seek an appointment to the highest Court of the Land, use as a springboard to a seat on the high Court. Justice Antonin Scalia served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, himself, before being nominated as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Reagan.
The title of the NY Times article is “Obama Court Choice is Deft Navigator of Washington’s legal Circles.”
The photograph of Judge Garland was obviously very carefully shot. The Judge appears in the foreground of the photograph with his characteristic gaze, at once firm but affable – a gaze most likely carefully cultivated through time and one curiously reminiscent of the gaze often projected by Justice Louis Brandeis, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939 – a period of time that falls within the tenure of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes – a man, many legal scholars consider one of the greatest Jurists that ever served on the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Holmes served on the high Court from 1902 to 1932.
In the Times’ photograph, Judge Garland looks off into the distance. A Washington D.C. building, apparently the U.S. Supreme Court, appears, soft and diffused, in the background. The caption below the photograph reads,“Merrick B. Garland, President Obama’s selection for the Supreme Court, has advanced as a legal centrist.”
An alternative caption – one that would more accurately reflect the true, but hidden reason behind the flowery, glowing praise of Judge Garland, and that demonstrates the Times’ complicity in assisting Obama in promoting Judge Garland in order to secure the President’s legacy for generations to come – might have read: “Obama’s first two short list selections, Kagan and Sotomayor, have been confirmed as Associate Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court; Obama could and should make it three for three – a clean sweep – with Garland.”
President Obama’s short list of nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court, during his two terms as President, included: Sotomayor, Kagan, and Garland. The Times’ article does not attempt to hide this. But, why does the Times wish to emphasize this point? It does so to suggest that Justices Kagan and Sotomayor are excellent Jurists whose opinions admirably reflect the core values of this Nation and whose Court decisions direct this Nation toward the goals Obama seeks to attain. That may be, at least as the Times newspaper sees it, but many lay Americans, and legal scholars and jurists across the Nation, would disagree with that assessment.
The NY Times’ publisher is serving the President, obligingly, through publication of a lengthy piece on Judge Garland on the front page of the newspaper. But the article belongs in the editorial section of the paper. It should not grace the front page because the article is clearly in the nature of a political endorsement of Garland.
The NY Times makes much of Judge Garland’s credentials and accomplishments. While today’s candidate to the high Court is expected to have the requisite academic credentials and accomplishments on his or her resume – and Judge Garland certainly has those – they are not, in and of themselves, sufficient. Each Justice who presently sits on the high Court has them. What, then, distinguishes this Judge from those who presently serve on the high Court? Indeed, what would suggest that this Judge, who presently sits as Chief Judge of the U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is a suitable replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, whose brilliance and deference to the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution were always manifest in the Justice’s opinions?
The public has a right to know how Judge Garland will dispose of cases that come before the high Court. The Times’ article is long on effulgent praise, but short on substance.
In these uncertain, dangerous, modern times when we suffer a fluctuating economy; when we face savage Islamic terrorists from a bygone age banging at our gates; when we see the erosion of the moral fabric of our society and the destruction of the true core values of our Nation through influx of millions of illegal aliens – aliens who have little understanding of and more lack of respect for our culture, our history, our laws, our language; and when we see unnatural, peculiar concepts – multiculturalism, hedonism, and moral relativism – weaving and wending their way into and through our educational, social and political institutions; when we are told that a neo-global and neoliberal economic outlook exists in the World and in this Country and that Americans must come to accept this as the natural order of things as if economic principles operate like immutable laws of nature – strange ideas, indeed, that eclipse the traditional import of the principles set forth by our founding fathers, that undermine our National Sovereignty, and that lend to the denigration of and decay of our system of laws and of our Constitution; when we see all these multifarious unsettling things coalescing around us; it becomes incumbent on Americans to obtain as full and complete picture of the jurisprudence, the legal philosophy of the person, who would sit on the highest Court of our Nation. For that person does take with him or her, to the high Court, his or her legal philosophy; and that philosophy is a critical aspect of that person. It informs that person’s reasoning and is reflected in that person’s writings – in that person’s legal decisions that touch upon and affect every American, for generations to come.
To date, information emanating from the mainstream media on the qualifications of Judge Merrick Garland is scant, sketchy, measured, and noticeably – deliberately, in fact – vague on the particulars – on what counts most: how does Judge Garland view the fundamental rights and liberties of America as codified in the Nation’s Bill of Rights? From what we can glean from a review of the cases that Judge Merrick heard and of the opinions he wrote or at least agreed to, we do get an inkling into his thinking processes and into his philosophy. We can begin to decipher the man who would step into Justice Scalia’s shoes.
Would that Jurist consider the impact of a decision on Americans’ fundamental rights and liberties and, so, render decisions manifesting a clear intent to preserve and defend the Bill of Rights – the greatest protection the American people have against an intrusive Government? Or would that Jurist place greater emphasis on the impact a decision would have on concerns and values outside those of our Country – such concerns and values that may not reflect the concerns and values of our Nation and that, in fact, may be in conflict with concerns impacting the American people and in conflict with the unique core values of Americans as reflected in the Bill of Rights? If it is the one, we know that we have working, on behalf of the United States, a Jurist who has the courage of former Justice Antonin Scalia. If, though, we have a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who doesn’t uphold the Bill of Rights, we will witness the erosion of our fundamental rights and liberties, and the dissembling and eventual collapse of a free Republic – the demise of a Republic that had been built on an ironclad Constitution and upon the fundamental, immutable rights and liberties set forth within it, as envisioned by the Constitution’s creators – fundamental, immutable rights and liberties that were meant to withstand the vicissitudes of time and circumstance and to withstand the machinations of those among us who, through either selfish, ruthless self-interest or petulant, childish ignorance would undermine and upend those fundamental, immutable rights and liberties, as codified in the Bill of Rights of our Nation’s Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court is the one Branch of Government that can thwart those elements in the other two Branches of Government that work hand-in-hand to denigrate our Nation’s core values, that undermine our culture and ethos, and that undercut the sovereignty of our Nation. Or, it can work in tandem with the other two Branches to destroy the fabric of our Constitution that it disingenuously pretends to protect. Which shall it be?
Do not be lulled into thinking that the political, social, and legal philosophy of a person can be adequately and accurately contained in one word descriptors such as ‘liberal,’ or ‘radical,’ or ‘moderate,’ to name a few. The NY Times and other mainstream media sources refer to Judge Garland, for example, as a ‘centrist.’ But, what does that term really mean? Truly, the term means nothing in a vacuum, but it is in a vacuum that the mainstream media bandy about such terms – not to inform the reader through the convenience of a simple catchword, but, rather, to bewilder, or, worse, to cloak the truth in sugary lies – to present Judge Garland in a manner seemingly meant to please or, at least, to reassure, but actually meant to deceive.
The Times newspaper disingenuously and, in fact, insidiously suggests to the public that, if the Senate doesn’t confirm Judge Garland – the so-called “centrist” – to the high Court, then a President Hillary Clinton will nominate a “liberal” to the high Court – as if, to Republicans, that must be worse. But, between President Obama’s “centrist” candidate and a President Clinton’s presumably “liberal” candidate, there would, in truth, exist nothing to distinguish the political, legal, and social philosophy of the one candidate from the other. But,then, a President Clinton, or any other President for that matter, cannot, on his or her own, appoint an individual to the high Court. The U.S. Senate must confirm a nomination before anyone can secure a seat on the high Court.
If necessary, the American people can await a person of the stature of the late Justice Antonin Scalia to be confirmed to sit on the high Court. The wait may be long. The Court will just have to make-do with eight Justices until that time. The alternative – confirmation of the wrong sort of person to the high Court to fill a ninth seat – would be worse – much worse – for the safekeeping of our Republic and for the preservation of our Bill of Rights than Americans presently face.
Side note: Republican Senator Mark Kirk, of Illinois, was the first Republican Senator to meet with Judge Merrick Garland, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, on March 30, 2016, in a story titled, “First Senate Republican Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Garland.” . Senator Mark Kirk is a virulent oppressor of Americans’ Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms.
So, once again, forget labels: ‘Republican,’ ‘Democrat,’ ‘liberal’ and ‘radical,’ ‘moderate’ and ‘conservative,’and so forth. Labels can be, and as used by the mainstream media, are intended, often enough, to be deceptive.
Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican, uses the appellation, ‘centrist,’ as a one word descriptor for Judge Merrick Garland, as does the New York Times. The term is inaccurate. It is a blind. The real test is quite simple. Just ask:is Judge Merrick Garland a Jurist like Justice Antonin Scalia? If you are unsure, just take a look at the written opinions and decisions of Judge Merrick Garland and compare those decisions with the decisions of Justice Antonin Scalia, on a range of issues. That will give you an accurate basis upon which “to judge” the potentially newest judge who President Obama seeks to ensconce on the highest Court in the Land in order that Obama may secure his legacy for decades to come.
We have looked at one Second Amendment case that Judge Garland had a hand in, namely, Parker vs. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
We discussed the case at length in a previous article posted on Ammoland News.
The case gives an inkling into Judge Garland’s perception of the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms. The perception is not favorable. In a subsequent article we will peer closely at a second case involving the Second Amendment that Judge Garland did decide and one that makes clear that Judge Garland does not cherish the Second Amendment. The case is NRA of America, Inc. vs. Reno, 216 F.3d 122 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
The New York Times knows full well the tenor of Judge Garland’s legal philosophy toward the Second Amendment and that philosophy is definitely not one shared by the late Justice Scalia.
The term ‘centrist’ as applied to Judge Garland is a shameless misnomer. The New York Times has decidedly wished it to be so.
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