Law Professor: There May Be a Way for the Senate to Approve Garland for the Supreme Court
March 16, 2016
Contact: University Relations
Charles Tiefer, professor in the University of Baltimore School of Law, writes in Forbes that President Obama's nomination of a moderate for Supreme Court justice may prompt Senate Republicans to soften their stance on not giving the nominee a hearing.
Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge, for the post on March 16. Senate Republicans say they will not hold a vote on the nomination, declaring that the next president should be the one to name a new justice.
"While at first Senate Republicans will hold their ground about not moving any nomination, certain considerations will potentially moderate their stance," Tiefer writes in his Forbes column. "One is [Garland's] centrism, caution, and credentials, as I noted. The other is, frankly, that Garland is 63. Supreme Court judgeships are lifetime posts. The odds are that Garland will stay on the Court for a much briefer period than any alternative young nominees, potentially making way that much sooner for some future pick that may go to a Republican President, as the post-Scalia pick went to Obama. If Senate Republicans hold their ground until Hillary Clinton becomes President, she may make a younger nomination they like a lot less.
"Still, obviously, despite Garland's merits, Senate Republicans will start out standing by their vow against a confirmation vote. But, Senate practice and procedure gives the minority party several ways they can keep alive the debate on granting Garland at least the initial step of a Judiciary Committee hearing."
Read the column.