One key Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said on Monday that he would be happy to support Donald Trump’s pending Supreme Court nominee – but there’s a catch.
In order to win over Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Trump will have to choose former President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, whose nomination was blocked even as Obama had nearly a year left in his term.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) July 9, 2018
When MSNBC’s Ari Melber asked Sen. Whitehouse what he wanted to hear from Trump in his announcement, the Democrat responded, “That he’s going to appoint Merrick Garland.”
When the MSNBC host asked him what he will do in the likely event that Trump picks a right-wing extremist instead, and how to stop the nominee from being confirmed, Whitehouse responded:
We have to look just a little bit beyond the nominee themselves and tell the story of a nominations process that is dominated by special interests that want to be reassured that they will win in court in cases which, that the judge needs to be amenable to the things they want. We see immense pressure being brought to bear in the judiciary, the committee process has become something of a joke. You see all this dark money spending, as if it were a creepy political campaign. … When you put that whole story together, you get a situation where you have Americans walking up the courthouse steps in that courtroom, who stand a reasonable chance of being able to anticipate they will lose not because of the merits of their case but because of who they represent and who they are. That ought not to be. The more people understand that larger story, that it’s not about this one individual, but it’s about a whole process by which special interests have captured the court, that’s the tale they need to know.
Trump will likely choose a right-wing extremist
If Trump truly wants to choose a nominee that won’t push the Supreme Court in a dangerous and divisive direction, Merrick Garland would be a wise choice.
Sadly, this is a pipe dream. Instead, Trump will likely pick a right-wing extremist that opposes abortion rights and, as Sen. Whitehouse pointed out, is beholden to special interest groups.
Before Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement, the United States Supreme Court was already conservative-leaning. But with Trump likely to pick an extremist to fill the vacancy, the court is on the verge of becoming a wing of the Republican Party for a generation.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.