It’s time to find out if the #NeverTrump movement is serious
I’m not sure what to personally make of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. There are arguments to be made that he should have nominated someone more liberal (or, at the very least, someone who isn’t an old white guy), and there are arguments to be made that Obama’s doing the right thing here by nominating someone who’s more centrist.
The thinking in support of Obama’s decision to nominate someone like Judge Garland is that Senate Republicans will not only look bad blocking his nomination, but look really bad if they don’t even consider him — especially in an election year. Obama’s move will also spare a more liberal nominee the slog that is a SCOTUS nomination that may ultimately prove meaningless by the upcoming presidential election or by Senate Republicans’ all-but-assured rejection. And, besides, if you’re said liberal nominee, why would you want to put yourself through all of that anyway?
Of course, the flip side of Obama not nominating someone more liberal is that there is a chance, however small, that Senate Republicans will confirm Judge Garland, and Obama will have missed this rare chance (if he ever had one, given the makeup of the Senate) of nominating a more liberal justice to the Court.
So, now all eyes turn to the Senate GOP who, as a collective body, have utterly rejected Donald Trump’s impending nomination. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has gone so far as to recommend his caucus run ads against Trump to try to distance themselves from him.
What does Obama’s SCOTUS nominee have to do with Donald Trump? Well, if Republicans are as serious about #NeverTrump as they say they are, they will confirm Obama’s nominee, lest an incoming President Trump nominate someone for Scalia’s vacant seat.
If they don’t, as McConnell indicated on the Senate floor today, it will discard any assurances that the #NeverTrump movement is serious about their stated goal. Not confirming Judge Garland shows that Republicans are, in the end, okay with Donald Trump as their nominee.