Replacing Scalia

So, President Obama announced his nominee for the Supreme Court this morning. As many have noted, it’s likely that a lot of the decision as to who was nominated was political, to shame the Republicans who refuse to even hold hearings on the nomination by nominating someone that they shouldn’t have a problem with, and then use their refusal against them in the November elections.

It’s possible, then to consider that there’s no real intention that this candidate is actually a possibility for the court. But still, I feel it’s important to look at them as if they would be. Here’s my quick reaction that I posted on Facebook:

Well, I’m disappointed with the nomination of Merrick Garland. Not really surprised that this would be the general direction the President would go, but disappointed. Garland is brilliant and certainly qualified. He is a moderate centrist with the potential for helping sway the more conservative members of the bench away from the extremes. And he’s generally left of Scalia. He has a pretty broad view of the First Amendment, which I like, but my biggest concern is in criminal justice issues.

Judge Garland spent much of his career working for the government — in the Justice Department and for prosecutors. I would really like to see someone on the Court who has more experience working for the people – someone who knows what it’s like to be a defense attorney, for example. And this has been demonstrated in his decisions on the bench where he has consistently gone against his liberal colleagues in providing deference to the government in criminal justice cases.

Garland has also regularly showed extreme deference to government agencies. According to ScotusBlog, “In a dozen close cases in which the court divided, he sided with the agency every time.” This, again, is a concern to me as I view part of the critical function of the Supreme Court to be one of the checks and balances of government, not an extension of the Executive Branch. But, of course, I’m not surprised, as President Obama has consistently pushed hard against any judicial oversight of the decisions of the Executive.

Merrick Garland will be a good jurist if he is confirmed. But at a time in our nation when we are desperately in need of critical criminal justice reform, it’s unlikely that his addition to the court will in any way help us move in that direction. And with a completely dysfunctional Congress and a reticent (and sometime hostile) Executive Branch, that would leave it entirely to the people to continue the hard slogging away at grass-roots reform.

As a side note, the President made a pretty serious gaffe for a constitutional lawyer when he said,

“Merrick Garland would take no chances that someone who murdered innocent Americans might go free on a technicality.” —@POTUS #SCOTUSnominee

Again, some speculate that this was merely tossing red meat to the law-and-order crowd, but it’s a pretty insensitive comment to make when criminal justice reform is such an important topic.

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21 Responses to Replacing Scalia

  1. Politics as usual. It’s just that Obama, along with the rest of his cronies, including the Republicans, have failed, unsurprisingly, to see that this election is anything but usual.

    I believe it unlikely Garland will get a hearing at this juncture and, when he senses so, he’ll withdraw his name from consideration. Which is fine with me (for many of the same reasons as Pete) and apparently with much of the history surrounding SCOTUS nominees during this stage of a presidency.

    And isn’t a gaffe usually understood to be the accidental telling of a truth? Serious, indeed.

    • claygooding says:

      HEY candidates for Congress,,,supporting cannabis reform will have 84% of American voters that support medical marijuana reform listening to you,,all parties,,,it will also have over 80% of voters that support hemp legalization for all it’s industrial uses and it will have 54% of the voters listening to you that support outright legalization.
      Start calling incumbents out on it,,ask them why they ignore 84% of the voters on MMJ reform,,not doing anything to advance it is ignoring the voters,,period.
      That is a lot of voters to ignore.

      PS:if we do this right it may force Congress to do something to remove cannabis as an election grabber,,they are ignoring us right now and that must end,,where is Slocum when we need him?

  2. jean valjean says:

    ‘“Merrick Garland would take no chances that someone who murdered innocent Americans might go free on a technicality.” —@POTUS #SCOTUSnominee’

    As opposed to guilty Americans (black, hippie, commie, you get the picture). You can murder them any time you like if you’ve got a badge of some sort.

    • Will says:

      Thank you for injecting race, hygiene and economic theories into this issue. As if a white person who showers every day and knows that communism is an unworkable crock of shit can never be thrown in a cage for toking on a politically incorrect substance. Though I should applaud you for not throwing gender or religion in there. Good job!

      • jean valjean says:

        What’s your point Will? You seem to have missed mine completely which was that Garland splits Americans into the innocent and the guilty when it comes to being murder victims. Everyone here on the couch is aware that white people can and are regularly arrested, as many can personally testify. Your implication that hippies are unwashed is the real “tell” though and reflects your probable authoritarian prejudices….will you be voting for Donald Trump by any chance?

      • Will says:

        Well, looks like another “Will” has landed on the couch. Guess I’ll have to pick a new moniker.

        BTW, I’m the Will from Texas. But to avoid confusion I’ll resort to using another part of my name.

        • jean valjean says:

          Will from TX:
          Yeah….I thought that didn’t sound like the Will I’d read here before. Somehow I imagine your namesake as a DEA agent whiling away a lazy day at work on the tax-payer dime.

      • DdC says:

        Willber March 17, 2016 at 8:25

        Thank you for injecting race,

        Prohibitionists injected race, denialism is a mental disorder.
        Unless race is a drug I’ve never heard of.

        hygiene and economic theories into this issue.

        Yes but this is about unequal arrests and convictions among the groups mentioned. Bigots, tsk tsk tsk.

        As if a white person who showers every day

        True. But probably not long for this world if they’re showering daily with synthetic soap, poo and conditioners. Hemp clothing absorbs odors and Hemp soap is good for the skin. Oh btw, we really aren’t white. We’re just all part of the human race. Prohibitionists profit on bigots, gossip and intimidation. Trillion dollar business at stake. Multi trillion in imported crap product profits at stake. American jobs processing hemp in the closed down cotton mills outsourced to India. Cotton’s 90 million pounds of Monsatan poisons aborting pre-babies in the bible belt. While Hemp is fear mongered as a back door to pot. Hemp clothing could be processed in the closed down markets if dixiecrats weren’t so afraid of hobgoblins.

        and knows that communism is an unworkable crock of shit

        That’s a crock of shit, it works for the oppressors. GOPerverts love China for outsourcing labor and importing cheap middle east crude plastic crap. But commies are only an out dated past cold war buzzword. Nothing communal or social about brutal dictators. Jesus was probably the best known commie. Careful, if you don’t know a crock of shit stay away from crocks when you’re hungry.

        can never be thrown in a cage for toking on a politically incorrect substance.

        Never say never but the majority of middle class Caucasians are out of sight out of mind. People on the streets aren’t. Your other crock is claiming a Federally illegal substance is only politically incorrect. Prohibition is the illegal substance. Ganja is a plant. Lower incomes produce more revenue and tax in a cage, than flipping burgers at minimum wage. $35k/y to Kochroaches max cap profit cages verses low wage no tax. Drugs are a tool or means to an end, profits. Most rural Caucasians are poor, that is a causal connection to lower IQ and blind obedience from larger brain fear centers. Probably ECSD. Doh!

        Though I should applaud you for not throwing gender or religion in there. Good job!

        Archeology: Ancient Temple Hashish Incense! Did Jesus Inhale?

        Women are making equal, living wages in dispensaries or trimming buds. Opportunity is open and women are taking advantage. Women are re-discovering the health benefits of Ganja dnd Hemp seed and oil EFA’s Omega 3, 6 and 9. So Wilbur, we have a Will and the post provided actually have something to say. Yours, not so much. Oh Wilbur.

  3. Some new info about him:
    Obama Nominates Pot Prohibitionist To Supreme Court

  4. strayan says:

    I don’t think we’ll hear from Duncan today, I imagine he’ll be busy celebrating the latest results from the GW Pharma cannabidiol epilepsy trial and corresponding jump in share price.

    • darkcycle says:

      I wish him good fortune. His choice in investments reflects a buisness decision, and is not a declaration of his philosophes. He has been tireless in his efforts and an astute couchmate. Plus, he’s my friend.

  5. Servetus says:

    Merrick Garland is no doubt aware of the challenges he faces. This is going to be an epic showdown for the crippled legions that seek the obliteration of democracy. The circus is coming to town. Santa gets busted at the border because his mistletoe is mistaken for weed. Once again, failure will be paraded as success; political losers of this charade will burnish their credentials for their next loss.

    Any potted plant would work well to replace Scalia in the current political world of the Supremes. It would be an improvement:

    Plant, what is your legal opinion?

    “Live long and bloom,” says the plant.

  6. jean valjean says:

    “Connecting the Dots on Race and the Drug War”

  7. Spirit Wave says:

    I assume Mr. Garland (and anyone else the traditional leftists put forth) is another ‘Constitution is a “living document”‘ type.

    In addition to our net-resulting nation always continuously choosing hypocritical discrimination across the political spectrum over the supposedly obligatory unalienable right to liberty judicially upheld via the ninth amendment (without possible discrimination by law), we have another devastatingly foolish path towards deteriorating judicial consistency to no possible societal benefit (at horrible cost).

    Our Constitution being a “living document” cannot possibly reconcile with the constitutional amendment process explicitly understandably insisting upon a serious challenge to amend our fundamental law.

    Therefore to nationally embrace the “living document” mentality is purely idiotic (logically speaking) — if not treasonous — yet tragically sufficiently successful (with ample sarcastic thanks to the relevant self-proclaimed constitutional experts leveraging that idiocy).

    As long as disrespect against rationality and consistency plagues our rule-of-law, there can only be judicial destruction (at terrible mass pain and national vulnerability), regardless of political boosting (and the personnel promoting it).

    As we the couch-sitters here can all clearly witness (and too often tragically experience), Certain Drug Prohibition (or the War on [Some] Drugs, if you prefer) is strong evidence of that destruction.

    To the extent the rule-of-law is discredited is the extent a nation (or any scope governed by that law) is destabilized.

    How much credit do you put into our rule-of-law?

    Based upon the whole truth (and nothing but), if such credit were food, starvation is reality’s apparent ruling.

    If we can’t get law right, we can’t get civility right.

    If we can’t get civility right, humanity can only be governed by reason abusers and thugs — including within the “land of the free”.

    Without justice (necessarily including fairness, so conclusive objectivity), we’re all stuck suffering from the highly politicized Agenda (not Justice) System where personal agendas tumultuously battle it out for too-often-selfish entrenchment in legal precedence.

    Sometimes the underdog justifiably thankfully wins, but obviously usually the effectively governing oligarchy spanning the private and public sectors dominating/running the Agenda System solely strengthens itself — way too often (for selfish comforts) against liberty, civility, and wisdom.

    Unless fully logically proven otherwise, I maintain the only solution to truly break free from rule by abusive reasoning and thuggery (in any form) is what I call scientific constitutionalism — a meticulously refined result from several years of purely honestly analyzing liberty and law (with exemplification being the ‘drug war’ — in part from reading Pete’s blog over that span).

    Scientific constitutionalists understand the need to purely bring the scientific method to form the lingual certainties necessary for much better (and solid) language, so naturally consequently much better communication, education, law, and health (nonetheless science, technology, diplomacy, and anything else benefiting from clearer language to avoid [inclusively intentional] misunderstanding).

    Albeit with some work-in-progress refinement still to come (always accompanying an open invitation to anyone wanting to mutually constructively participate in that likely perpetual process), details can be found at my website (e.g. Liberty Shield informational roots), if you’re interested in helping yours truly help us all achieve even the minimal community traction necessary to grow enough to maturely successfully counter abusive strength in any of its many public-screwing forms.

  8. DdC says:

    Irony, Justice or Just Karma?

    Scalia suffered from many health problems
    Antonin Scalia suffered from coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and had surgery in 2003 to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

    Heart Disease

    ☛ Study: Marijuana May Hold Promise In Preventing Heart Disease

    ☛ Heart Disease Health Center
    Marijuana Chemical Fights Hardened Arteries
    April 6, 2005 — The active ingredient in marijuana that produces changes in brain messages appears to fight atherosclerosis — a hardening of the arteries.

    ☛ Can Medical Marijuana Treat Atherosclerosis?
    Cannabinoid receptors have been found throughout the cardiovascular system, leading experts to believe that the endocannabinoid system might play a major role in the regulation of heart function and circulation. Furthermore, there is now significant evidence that suggests a therapeutic role of cannabinoids in a variety of heart conditions, including atherosclerosis.

    ☛ Cannabis Research A – Z
    Cardiovascular Effects of Cannabis

    ☛ Project CBD: Heart Disease


    ☛ Cannabis: The Next Diabetes Drug?
    People who had used marijuana in the past month had smaller waists and lower levels of insulin resistance – a diabetes precursor


    ☛ Wasting Obesity on Ganja
    Cannabis plants could provide a new treatment for obese patients at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    Cannabis Seeds:
    The Most Nutritionally Complete Food on the planet

    High Blood Pressure

    ☛ Cannabinoids Lower Blood Pressure to Normal Levels

    Cannabis Research A – Z: Blood Pressure
    Early studies on rats bred for high blood pressure[xviii] found that THC reduced levels of blood pressure, and that tolerance developed to this effect.

    Surgery in 2003 to repair a Torn Rotator Cuff in his right shoulder.

    ☛ Treatment Reviews: Medical Cannabis –
    Marijuana for Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injury

    ☛ Joint Pain and Cannabis

    ☛ Patient testimony on rotator cuff issues that Cannabis is moderately helpful
    in dealing with the pain and inflammation.

    ☛ Cannabis may be used to treat fractures

    Gonzales v. Raich (2005)
    Banning the growing of marijuana for medical use, the Court reasoned, was a permissible way of preventing or limiting access to marijuana for other uses: The ruling was 6-3 with Justice Scalia joining Justices Kennedy, Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer for the majority.

    The Court ruled that the Commerce Clause along with the Federal Controlled Substances Act could allow the federal government to preempt state laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana

  9. Frank W. says:

    An “insensitive comment”? I’m sure he can do a Choom Brothers comedy tour with Vincente Fox. “Y’know folks, we were wrong about pot. I really should have rescheduled it! Take my wife please!”

  10. Windy says:

    Full quote can be found here WH took it out of con text:
    Someone didn’t know how to spell “route”.

  11. cwolf says:

    Merrick Garland would … (not let a murderer) … go free on a technicality.”

    Those “technicalities” are known as the “Bill of Rights” when the defendant is you or your mother or brother.

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