The former federal prosecutor kvelled

So who is Merrick Garland?

Let’s consult the Beltway establishment first, which is to say the Washington Post:

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick Garland to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, calculating that choosing the highly regarded jurist who has served presidents from both parties will ultimately force Senate Republicans to drop plans to block his nomination.

Garland, the 63-year-old chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a moderate, does not fit neatly into a category that is likely to mobilize Democratic voters in an election year. He is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, not a “first” in the way an Asian American or black female nominee would have been.

Not firsty, but not WASPy either. Then again this looking for First boxes to tick, in the form of various Identity Categories, is more than a little creepy…even though at the same time I’m always hoping for more of exactly that – more women, and if they’re also brown or otherwise outside the usual pattern, all the better. You know how that is? Thinking it would be a good thing while also thinking it’s tacky the way we keep noticing, and listing, and categorizing? Anyway…Jewish immigrants from Russia probably didn’t get here with a drawer-full of silver spoons jutting out of their mouths.

Anyway he’s collected compliments from all directions, and that will make it harder (but doubtless far from impossible) for Team Republican Assholes to refuse to confirm the nomination. The Post sagely suggests that Obama did this on purpose. Ya think?

And while Obama was composed, and even a bit defiant in his remarks, it was Garland’s visible emotion that seemed to raise the stakes for Republicans in what will surely be a protracted political fight his final year in office. The former federal prosecutor choked up as he thanked the president for giving him “greatest honor of my life,” aside from when his wife of nearly three decades agreed to marry him, and kvelled about how his mother was watching him that very moment on television, “crying her eyes out.” His father, he added with regret, was not alive to witness it.

Was she verklempt?

After the announcement, Senate Republican leaders reiterated that they did not intend to vote on the nomination because they believe the next president has the right to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last month.

That’s so schewpid. There is no such “right.” I think I have the right to shout “fire!” and get everyone to leave this library while I sit here in peace. Except that I don’t think that.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), taking the Senate floor after the nomination was announced, vowed to continue blocking its consideration.

“It seems clear that President Obama made this nomination, not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election,” he said. “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say — their say — on this issue. So let’s give them a voice.”

Wtf? What sense does that make? How does that seem clear at all? It seems very occluded to me. And the American people already had their say, when they re-elected Obama in 2012. He’s still serving that term. There is no rule that says he can’t nominate a candidate now, and it is considered a bad idea to leave a Supreme Court vacancy open for a pointlessly long time.

Then the article goes on with a lot of inside-baseball political stuff. Horserace stuff. Yawn.

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