Juan Williams writes in The Wall Street Journal that President Obabma’s nominee to the Supreme Court is not a centrist in his judicial philosophy. Here’s an excerpt:
As Republicans and Democrats wrangle over Judge Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination to replace the late Antonin Scalia and whether or not to hold confirmation hearings, attention has been distracted from a fight of far more historical consequence.
Over the past half century, regardless of whether a liberal or a conservative resides in the White House, the critical issue facing any Supreme Court nominee is where he or she stands on the political contest of wills over how to read the Constitution.
In general the conservatives in this fight favor an “originalist” or “plain text” reading of the Constitution to limit the role of the courts to interpreting what the document and the Framers meant. Liberals regard the Constitution as a “living document” that lends itself to modern interpretations by judges, who may extend rights to groups not mentioned or considered in the Constitution or its amendments…
In today’s debate regarding Merrick Garland’s nomination to the court, much of the discussion concerns whether or not he is a “centrist.” But the real question, for both sides, is how he regards the Constitution. On that point it is clear from his record that Judge Garland is firmly in the “living document” camp. The push-pull over the Constitution and the Supreme Court is a battle without end, and in the current phase with the eight-person bench likely to divide 4-4 on important cases, the contrast between the court with Scalia on it and the court with Judge Garland or any other Democratic nominee couldn’t be greater.
Read the rest here.