Juan Williams says Pres. Obama’s SCOTUS nominee is not a centrist

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.


  • Ezra Thomas

    It wouldn’t matter if he were a centrist now then would it? Unless centrism means anything close to “originalist”. You already know the politics behind this and you are on the record as supporting it.

  • Christiane Smith

    There is still time for an honorable consideration of this candidate, whether or not he is found acceptable. The problem with avoiding it for over a year is this:
    The current President has an obligated duty to appoint a candidate for the Court. He has done his duty.
    It is now the job of the Senate to take up consideration of the candidate in the prescribed manner laid out in the Constitution.

    The game of ‘obstruction-but-let’s-not-call-it-that’ is not a game to be played in a way that flaunts a disregard for the prescribed duties of the Senate recorded in Constitution.

    It seems better to act responsibly, and in a timely manner. If not, the disregarding of duty on the part of the United States Senate will reflect negatively on the party which is in the majority currently in the Senate. I doubt the country would see ‘the politics’ as an excuse to avoid doing the right thing. Best to be seen as a party that can still stand honorably in service to the country in this matter.

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