In March, President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, but it turns out that the nomination will not happen after all.
Garland’s nomination was controversial from the beginning. In his nomination speech, Obama praised Garland, saying:
Chief Judge Garland is more than just a brilliant legal mind, he’s someone who has a keen understanding that justice is about more than abstract legal theories, more than some footnote in a dusty case book.
Many worried that this meant Garland would presumably rule based on factors beyond just the text of the law, and the intent of its authors. Pro-abortion activists applauded the nomination. And while Garland didn’t often rule on abortion cases, he previously ruled against Priests for Life in a case against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. Garland also has ties to Roe v. Wade Justice William Brennan, and has also expressed admiration for Harry Blackmun, who authored the court’s opinion on Roe.
Pro-life Americans immediately contested the appointment, and were aided by pro-life Republicans, who prevented a vote on Garland’s confirmation. Senate Republicans repeatedly insisted that the next president should be the one to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, a move that angered pro-abortion activists.
Now, the Washington Times is reporting that while Obama isn’t withdrawing the nomination, he is essentially giving up. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “His treatment and the way this situation is likely to end is a scar on the institution of the United States Senate. It is a scar that I do not anticipate will go away quickly.” Obama has finally admitted that the vote will not take place.
This means that Donald Trump will appoint a replacement for Scalia next year, one of the first tests during his presidency that will determine whether or not his pro-life convictions are real.