February 20, 2017

Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out/Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about...

From "Liberals Are Still Angry, but Merrick Garland Has Reached Acceptance" (in the NYT):
After the election, the judge took a little time off, friends said... And on Jan. 30, two colleagues on the appeals court, Judges David S. Tatel and Laurence H. Silberman, hosted a more formal affair at the Metropolitan Club here.

“It was kind of, ‘Welcome back, Garland,’” Judge Tatel said. “‘Would we have been happy to see you on another court? Yes, but we’re glad you’re back.’”

Judge Tatel added, “He’s fully engaged and he’s back to being an extremely good chief judge.”...

“He did everything right — he never said a cross word, he never made a joke about it, he never politicized it,” said Tali Farhadian Weinstein, a former Garland clerk.....
In case you need to sing the post title: here.

As for the NYT article title... it's those insidious 5 stages of grief again. I don't for one minute believe that Merrick Garland had to process the experience like that, and remaining where you've been all along is not like dying. Getting an opportunity and then having it not pan out is a big experience in life, but I think anyone sensible enough to get a Supreme Court nomination isn't going to get so high on hope that he needs 5 stages to work through dashed hope. I'm sure Garland knew all along it was a game that he'd probably lose. He had the honor and distinction of being chosen, and I'm sure he accepted the nomination with the knowledge that he was being cast in a tragic role in some political theater.
“The character he showed through the whole process proves how qualified he was for the job,” [Tali Farhadian Weinstein] added, “and it adds to the tragedy that he didn’t get it.”

38 comments:

Michael K said...

The amusing part is that he would most likely not have been nominated by Hillary had she won the election.

He was a stalking horse for Obama to bait Republicans.

mezzrow said...

He's a prince of a guy, it seems. Lesser mortals would have said "up your nose with a rubber hose!"

Chuck said...

Robert Bork and Miguel Estrada could not be reached for comment.

Birches said...

I think he always knew he probably wouldn't get his shot. He would have withdrawn so Madam President could nominate another woman to the court.

Mark O said...

You didn't have to be so nice.

Birches said...

Wow. Chuck, that was actually good.

Chuck said...

Holy shit. This is not the first time that I have posted something about an Althouse headline, while on my way to read the text of the article to which her post links. It is pretty much always a bad idea to do that.

So the Times article actually goes out of its way to mention the failed nomination of Judge Bork (to whom I sarcastically referred just above). They didn't mention Estrada, probably because he's too obscure, as a former nominee to the DC Circuit and not SCOTUS, and because it was a story that liberals never want to discuss, because it is arguably even more cut-throat Dem politics than Bork. Although liberals' clear concern was clearing a possible path to the Supreme Court for Estrada down the road.

But here's the paragraph in which Sarah Lyall of the Times mentions Judge Bork:

Thirty years ago, Judge Robert H. Bork’s failed Supreme Court nomination introduced a new verb into the American lexicon. But if “to Bork” means to derail a divisive nominee’s candidacy through a sustained attack on the candidate’s record, then “to Garland” surely means to kill a respected nominee’s chances by simply letting him linger in limbo, virtually ignoring him while refusing to consider his candidacy.

"[A] sustained attack on the candidate's record"?!? That's what they did to Bork? Huh. And here I thought that Bork was defeated by a Democratic smear campaign and a party-line vote. (It actually wasn't a pure party line vote; then-Republicans Arlen Specter and Lowell Weicker voted against the Bork nomination, and Ernest Hollings voted yes.)

Anyway, they still couldn't reach Bork for comment. He's dead. And instead, we got Anthony Kennedy. And Lawrence.

traditionalguy said...

This guy was never anything except a politically built Potemkin village Justice. No one on either side intended for him to be appointed to the Mighty Court.

Fernandinande said...

"Liberals Are Still Angry, but Merrick Garland Has Reached Acceptance"

That's a relief. I was worried about the poor little guy.

traditionalguy said...
This guy was never anything except a politically built Potemkin village Justice.


Potemkin villages have very low crime rates.

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe Garland is self-medicating with marijuana.

Known Unknown said...

Beta Judge.

Static Ping said...

The nomination of Garland was very much political theater, albeit one that could have resulted with him on the Supreme Court. If the Democrats had controlled the Senate when Scalia died, he would not have been the nominee. If the opening was in 2014, he would not have been the nominee. If Hillary had won, I am fairly confident she would have nominated someone else. Garland was a prop to put the Republicans in a difficult position. He's not too young! He's a moderate, or at least you can pretend he is before he votes exactly like Sotomayor! If the GOP approves him, they sell out their base. If they obstruct him, it gives the Democrats an issue to attack. It wasn't a bad strategy given the hand dealt.

I'm pretty sure Garland knew he was a political prop and was fine with it, which says far more about his character than anything else.

rehajm said...

Yah, they teased him a lot, but they got him on the spot.

Chuck said...

Who, among the Althousians, are seeing this ad in regular rotation on their local tv stations?

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/Acst/judicial-crisis-network-jane

It is the Judicial Crisis Network's pro-Gorsuch ad. We are seeing it here in Michigan, as pressure is brought to bear on Senator Debbie Stabenow whose term ends after the 2018 midterm election. She is thought to be electorally vulnerable. I have some doubt that she will run again. She's such a dullard; I don't know what else she'd do. And Stabenow is the opposite of any sort of maverick Senator who would vote against party to gain an electoral advantage. She is the purest manifestation of a Democrat Party Sinecure in all of Washington. I cannot imagine her vote getting moved on Gorsuch.

Still, I like the ad and think it is rather effective. Share what you think about the ad and tell us where you have seen it on local tv. (I do think it has played on FNC, and, significantly, MSNBC as well.)

Majestyk said...

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back

The Godfather said...

A side light: Judge Tatel, who's mentioned in the story, is an alumnus of Hogan & Hartson, the same law firm that John Roberts came from. He's been an excellent (liberal) judge on the DC Circuit, and there are those who think that Bill Clinton should have nominated Tatel instead of Breyer for the Blackmun seat.

readering said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robother said...

"She's such a dullard; I don't know what else she'd do. "

My impressions (from the 2 times in my career I was involved in going to DC to explain complicated changes to a Tax Code provision) of the US Senate are consistent with this. I concluded there are a handful of Senators from each party who actually are smart enough to understand complicated legislation and the rest simply are show horses (e.g., Lil Marco, John Le Kerry) or dull political hacks who ask the smarties in the elevator how they should vote.

Yancey Ward said...

Michael K is correct- had Hillary! won, it is likely his nomination would have been withdrawn almost immediately by Obama so that "the newly elected president" could make the nomination.

And so is Static Ping's comment almost dead correct- given the Senate of last Spring, Obama played the game about as well as it could have been played by choosing Merrick- he was about the only kind of nominee who might possibly be accepted by the Senate, but could serve as a prop should the Republicans do what they ended up doing.

Michael K said...

dull political hacks who ask the smarties in the elevator how they should vote.

I was once with a group of California Medical Association officers who met with David Durenberger, the Minnesota Senator.

He told us he was the only one in the Senate who understood health care legislation and most of the other Republicans relied on him to tell them how to vote,

Sebastian said...

"I'm pretty sure Garland knew he was a political prop and was fine with it, which says far more about his character than anything else." Being a prop was a no-lose proposition: best-case scenario, O baits GOP into putting you on SCOTUS, worst-case scenario you help your side score points, become a liberal martyr, and keep your cozy job.

hombre said...

The context of his nomination suggests that he may not be just another liberal judicial jackass.

Yancey Ward said...

Lol! For some reason I keep mixing up Garland's first and last name. Merrick just sounds more like a last name to me.

rehajm said...

Share what you think about the ad and tell us where you have seen it on local...

Who's 'us', Chuck?

Amadeus 48 said...

I wonder what Douglas Ginsburg, who is a senior judge on the DC Circuit, had to say about it. Doug was rumbled from his Supreme Court nomination by Nina Totenberg, who picked up the story of Doug smoking some grass from Hal Scott, who was one of Doug's best friends in law school and at Harvard, where they both taught. Hal thought he was showing that Doug was a regular guy. Nina dropped the dime on them.
So we got Anthony Kennedy instead.

Static Ping said...

I would like to add that while using Garland as a prop was a defensible strategy, it may not have been the best choice for this election. Another option was to nominate someone who was not only clearly left wing but also a member of some favored minority group. The chance of being approved was approximately zero unlike Garland who was maybe 25%, but it would give the Dems a larger issue to use as a club in the election. Garland was so uninteresting that after the initial buzz his nomination got lost in the noise. The newspaper stories of "Garland is still the nominee, you know" seemed almost quaint if not embarrassing.

Of course, this assumes they could find someone who met the qualifications and willing to be used as a prop. That may have been difficult without selecting an outright partisan. I am fairly sure that Garland was well down the list of potential nominees himself. His main qualifications were his willingness to be used and his non-threatening image.

rcocean said...

"Hal thought he was showing that Doug was a regular guy."

Really? I wonder about that.

ddh said...

I wonder, did any of those who are so solicitous of Merrick Garland's feelings ever feel similarly about Robert Bork? Do they think Garland was treated worse than Bork? Just wondering.

rcocean said...

I'm glad Garland's nomination failed. Politics aside we didn't need another Democrat Jew on the SCOTUS. We have 3 already. I think it was time for the Democrats to put a black, Asian or even *gasp* a WASP.

Chuck said...

rehajm said...
"Share what you think about the ad and tell us where you have seen it on local..."

Who's 'us', Chuck?


Me, and my legion of friends, admirers and supporters at the Althouse commentariat. Too many to count, right? At our last convention, we filled the Royal Albert Hall. Love was in the air.


damikesc said...

Thirty years ago, Judge Robert H. Bork’s failed Supreme Court nomination introduced a new verb into the American lexicon. But if “to Bork” means to derail a divisive nominee’s candidacy through a sustained attack on the candidate’s record, then “to Garland” surely means to kill a respected nominee’s chances by simply letting him linger in limbo, virtually ignoring him while refusing to consider his candidacy.

They keep ignoring that the GOP was in the majority. Would they have been happier if they simply voted no?

SukieTawdry said...

Garland was a tool, a cats paw, someone used to serve the purposes of another. He surely would have known that going in. He conducted himself with poise and dignity throughout the non-proceedings, but there was a certain indignity attached to the whole affair in the first place. It was political theater, he had a role to play and he played it, presumably for reasons of his own. Perhaps the mere possibility of landing on the Court, albeit through the back door (Hillary wins and the Republicans, fearing her choice, decide to confirm him), was reason enough to participate in the charade.

Chuck said...

damikesc said...
Thirty years ago, Judge Robert H. Bork’s failed Supreme Court nomination introduced a new verb into the American lexicon. But if “to Bork” means to derail a divisive nominee’s candidacy through a sustained attack on the candidate’s record, then “to Garland” surely means to kill a respected nominee’s chances by simply letting him linger in limbo, virtually ignoring him while refusing to consider his candidacy.

They keep ignoring that the GOP was in the majority. Would they have been happier if they simply voted no?


Exactly. In that case, Garland would have simply been Borked, and not Garlanded. Same result; one less judicial confirmation verb. That may have been what Dems wanted. To exact a political penalty in the mainstream media, by forcing a hearing for a couple of days in which the mainstream media gushed over what a reasonable candidate Garland was, and what extremists the Republicans are. And then what a politically motivated crime it was, when a party-line vote defeated Garland.

Birkel said...

Chuck, so called, has a mouse in his pocket.

That explains the 'us'.

Jon Ericson said...

Chuck's doing opposition research, as usual.

damikesc said...

Exactly. In that case, Garland would have simply been Borked, and not Garlanded.

Wouldn't have labelled it a Borking as they didn't say anything personally negative about him. Listening to the Left discuss it, they act as if he was assured confirmation. He was a "likely" Justice because nobody thought Trump would win and, to his credit, McConnell didn't cave when it looked really bleak in September and early October.

And, guys, Chuck is providing the best explanation I've seen for the Democrat obsession over the "Stolen seat" they had no chance to win in the first place. They wanted to tarnish the GOP no matter what. Lay off the man.

He doesn't need me fighting his battles, but it's not like he's saying "Man, the Dems had a solid point". He's simply saying "This is why they did it". It's like explaining the Holocaust. Knowing HOW it happens is not the same as advocating for it.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Chuck said...
rehajm said...
"Share what you think about the ad and tell us where you have seen it on local..."

Who's 'us', Chuck?


Me, and my legion of friends, admirers and supporters at the Althouse commentariat. Too many to count, right? At our last convention, we filled the Royal Albert Hall. Love was in the air.



All just a day in the life for a lifelong Republican:



I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

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