Republicans are united behind the idea that Judge Merrick Garland should not be confirmed this year, given President Obama’s lame duck status and the fact that Garland would give liberals a clear majority on the Supreme Court. Most Republicans don’t even think Garland should have a hearing.
But John Kasich has a different perspective. In an interview to be aired tomorrow on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” the Governor Can We All Get Along argues in favor of a president’s right to have judicial nominations confirmed. He states:
My feeling is, at the end of the day, whoever gets elected president should be in a position to be able to pick you know who they want and the American people will either decide by voting for a Republican or Democrat what the makeup of the court is.
This was once the prevailing view on judicial nominations, but the Democrats abandoned it long ago, having often blocked Republican nominees — e.g. Robert Bork — and having advocated the blockage of any Supreme Court nominee by a Republican president in the run-up to a presidential election. Either Kasich didn’t get the word or he believes in two sets of confirmation rules — a deferential set for Democratic nominees and an obstructionist set for Republican ones.
But that’s not the worst of it. Kasich told CBS News that, as president, he would consider nominating the liberal Judge Garland. When John Dickerson asked whether “as someone who’s talked about unity, would you take a look at Mr. Garland…if you were elected president” Kasich replied:
Well, you know, he received you know overwhelming support, I think even from Senator Hatch, so of course we’d think about it.
With this answer, Kasich has achieved, you know, full Jon Huntsman status.
It’s bad enough when Republican presidents unwittingly nominate centrists or liberals to the Supreme Court due to lack of good information about the nominee or “growth in office.” When a Republican candidate expresses a willingness to nominate a jurist with a long liberal track record, that candidate should be rejected out of hand.