By Roger J. Katz, Attoney at Law and Stephen L. D'Andrilli
(Read article 1 in this series here.)
New York, NY -(Ammoland.com)- At a recent Wednesday, May 18, 2016 unsanctioned hearing held by minority Democrats, ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Member Leahy and fellow Senate Democrats on the Committee contacted associates of Judge Merrick Garland. The panel comprised a former jurist, a law professor, an appellate law attorney and former judge, and a former U.S. Attorney.
Each spouted the usual praises: “wonderful judge,” “eminently qualified,” “wonderful human being” “engaged and committed parent,” “sharp, analytical mind,” and so on. Fine traits, yes wanted of all who aspire to sit on the high Court. We have heard them before; we hear them now, constantly. But Judge Garland’s finer qualities aren’t in dispute.
His judicial record is.
The hour-long hearing comprised a multitude of flowery pronouncements, empty oratory, and, from the Senate Democrats, spiteful insults, criticisms, and whispers.
Senator Feinstein piously declared a concern over a Supreme Court constrained, “for a substantial period of time” by a “tie,” “a four to four position.” Senator Leahy says the failure of the high Court to act on cases—given the present 4 to 4 tie—places the Federal Appellate Courts “in limbo.” But Leahy’s statement isn’t true. Feinstein’s remarks and Leahy’s lay bare an agenda, underscored by their assertions. They seek a five to four liberal-wing majority on the high Court. They say consistency among the Circuit Courts is necessary, but is it?
Do we want consistency if U.S. Supreme Court rulings weaken Americans’ rights and liberties throughout the Country? Do we Americans want consistency among the Several States if U.S. Supreme Court rulings reflect foreign law antithetical to our traditions and values, and inconsistent with our Bill of Rights? Wouldn’t Americans find judicial rulings peppered and laced with alien jurisprudence and philosophy singularly bizarre? Wouldn’t Americans detest U.S. Supreme Court opinion that undermine their rights? Is not the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s philosophy and jurisprudential approach to U.S. Supreme Court decision-making worth preserving?
If so, Senator Leahy’s remark we need a “fully functioning [nine Justice] Supreme Court”—with a five-to-four liberal wing majority—is to wrongheaded.
Tie votes are not necessarily a bad thing. If a tie vote occurs, the decisions of the Appellate Courts remain valid. Yes, conflicts in the Circuits exist absent a U.S. Supreme Court decision. But conflicts always exist. The high Court hears only a handful of cases. A liberal wing majority would decide cases contrary to the well-being of the Bill of Rights. A liberal wing majority would also canvass cases to hear—cases involving matters best left to the States under the Tenth Amendment.
Consider the remarks of Justin Driver, Professor of law at the University of Chicago. He clerked under Judge Garland from 2005 to 2006. Driver said, “The [U.S. Supreme] Court views itself as articulating general applicable principles, not merely resolving a dispute between a few parties.”
How do we square that remark with Professor Driver’s other assertions? Professor Driver asserts, Judge Garland “avoids grand sweeping pronouncements, and keeps the opinions narrow,” that Judge Garland “is measured in his approach to the law,” and that “he honors existing precedent”?
How might Judge Garland’s jurisprudence as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit translate to the U.S. Supreme Court on Second Amendment issues? A fifth liberal-wing vote would weaken or overturn, outright, the Heller and McDonald case holdings?
A QUESTION ABOUT IDEOLOGY ON THE SUPREME COURT
Senator Leahy and his fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee self-righteously assert a hostility toward ideology. They proclaim the U.S. Supreme Court must remain pure, empty of “politics.” Yet, the U.S. Supreme Court, as the third Branch of Government, is, a political institution. Politics exists in the third Branch no less so than in the other two. Ideology, too, exists. Ideology is not necessarily a bad thing. Ideology defines every person. Each jurist espouses an ideology, and that ideology suffuses each jurist’s decisions. Judge Merrick Garland expressed his ideology toward the Second Amendment in the Parker and Reno cases. See our articles at: http://arbalestquarrel.com/
JUDGE MERRICK GARLAND MUST NOT SECURE A SEAT ON THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
We know Judge Garland’s position on Second Amendment issues. We looked at his record. With Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the high Court—a jurist who espouses a philosophy hostile to the Second Amendment—the assault on the Second Amendment continues. The Arbalest Quarrel amply shows Garland’s hostility to the Second Amendment in multiple articles. http://arbalestquarrel.com/.
The conclusion is plain. If Judge Merrick Garland secures a seat on the high Court, we know he would undermine the Second Amendment. The high Court’s liberal wing would have a majority and would undo Justice Scalia’s legacy.
If Judge Garland sits on the high Court as Justice Garland, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, as a sacred individual right, will come under renewed assault. Protection of our sacred rights and liberties ought to take precedence over presumed Senate protocol. Senator Leahy doesn’t think so, despite his remarks. He insists a confirmation hearing for Garland is proper. Perhaps for him, not for us. Leahy doesn’t speak for most Americans; neither does Hillary Clinton.
In a May 24, 2016 editorial, the Wall Street Journal editorial staff said, “Mrs. Clinton did criticize the Supreme Court [in Heller] for being ‘wrong on the Second Amendment.’”
The editorial staff also said, “Mrs. Clinton knows that four liberal Justices dissented from Heller. . . . Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the dissenters, told a luncheon of the Harvard Club in 2009 that their dissent was crafted with an eye to helping a ‘future, wiser court’ overturn Heller.” Previously cited. The editorial staff added, poignantly, “If Mrs. Clinton selects Antonin Scalia’s replacement, she knows the Court’s liberals with get their opportunity to overturn Heller. The Second Amendment really is on the ballot this November.” Previously cited.
Senator Leahy and other Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee want a jurist on the high Court who represent their ideology—one antithetical to the Second Amendment. Hillary Clinton won’t disappoint them if elected U.S. President. Judge Garland is their man. He isn’t ours.
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