What the Heck Is a "Merrick Garland," Anyway?

When I first saw “Merrick Garland” in my  Twitter mentions this morning, I thought it was a belated Ides of March reference to the wreath Julius Caesar wore when he was assassinated.

So, you’re sure that a “Merrick Garland” wasn’t what Caesar wore on his head?

It turns out that Merrick Garland isn’t a name, but a person. In fact, he’s President Obama’s nominee to replace recently departed conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Curiously, on the surface, Garland appears to be a center-right moderate jurist:

On Fox News Wednesday morning, Judge Andrew Napolitano called Merrick Garland “the most conservative” nominee to the Supreme Court ever presented by a Democratic president in the modern era. The announcement may seem surprising, but some analysts predict President Obama purposely chose a moderate candidate to tie Republican lawmakers’ hands.

Attorney and Supreme Court analyst Tim O’Brien told Fox New’s Bill Hemmer that Obama is clearly “putting Republicans on the spot.”

Garland served for 19 years on the D.C. circuit as a center right judge, Napolitano indicated. Some of Garland’s decisions support that description, including the outcome of Al Odah v. United States, where Garland voted against the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The devil, however, is in the details, and red flags immediately went up when left-wing sites immediately rushed to defend and celebrate Obama’s nominee.


Shortly thereafter, it became obvious that Garland is a gun control “Trojan horse,” dressed like a centrist on the outside, but a stone-cold killer of the Second Amendment at his core.

Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) were both quick to blast the nominee as a threat to our Second Amendment rights.

Erich Pratt is the Executive Director for Gun Owners of America noted in a press release.

“Despite promises to nominate a consensus candidate, Obama has chosen a radical leftist in Judge Garland,” Pratt said.  “He supported the DC gun ban in 2007, voting to reconsider the Heller case after a three judge panel had ruled against the ban.

“Hence, we don’t have to speculate as to how Garland would vote on Heller if confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Pratt said.  “He’s already voted against Heller once before, thereby showing he’d effectively rip the Second Amendment from the Constitution.

In a 2000 case, Garland voted to maintain the registration of gun owners, supporting efforts by the Clinton administration to use the instant check to illegally retain gun owners’ names for six months.

“This shows that Garland is not only anti-gun, he supports the ability of a President to illegally use executive power to advance liberal causes.

Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action likewise blasted the nominee.


“With Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, there is no longer a majority of support among the justices for the fundamental, individual right to own a firearm for self-defense. Four justices believe law-abiding Americans have that right – and four justices do not. President Obama has nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and  law-abiding gun owners. Obama has already nominated two Supreme Court justices who oppose the right to own firearms and there is absolutely no reason to think he has changed his approach this time. In fact, a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

So what is Garland’s actual Second Amendment record. As the NRA-ILA notes, it’s not good at all.

  • Merrick Garland’s record on the Second Amendment is unacceptable to anyone who respects the U.S. Constitution and an individual’s fundamental right to self-protection.
  • He is the most anti-gun nominee in recent history. This should come as no surprise, given President Obama’s disdain for the Second Amendment.
  • He has consistently shown a complete disregard of the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
  • Garland’s history of anti-Second Amendment rulings support the conclusion that were he to be confirmed he would vote to overturn Heller.
    • In 2007, he voted to give D.C. a second chance to have its handgun ban upheld after a three-judge panel struck it down. At the time, this was the most significant Second Amendment case in America.
    • In 2004, Garland voted against rehearing another Second Amendment case (Seegars v. Gonzales), effectively casting a vote against the individual right to keep and bear arms.
    • Justice Scalia was the author of Heller v McDonald. Heller affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Heller decision stands in the way of gun-control supporters’ ultimate goal of banning and confiscating guns.
    • If Heller is overturned, the Second Amendment for all intents and purposes would cease to exist.
    • In 2000, Garland voted in favor of the federal government’s plan to retain Americans’ personal information from gun purchase background checks despite federal laws prohibiting national firearm registration and requiring the destruction of these records.
    • Judge Garland weighed in on several significant firearms-related cases, including Parker, Seegars, NRA v. Reno,. He voted against the rights of firearm owners on each occasion.
  • The examples of Garland’s disdain for the right to keep and bear arms go on and on, including  in a major case upholding the then-existing Clinton “assault weapons” ban against a constitutional challenge
  • It’s almost certain that Garland agrees with Hillary Clinton when she said “the Supreme Court is wrong” that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
  • In his nomination, President Obama has again placed partisanship and antagonism towards gun owners above the higher callings of his office.
  • If Garland is confirmed, Obama would be taking America back in time to an era where Supreme Court justices uphold the anti-gun policies of the president. Obama is hoping Garland will overturn the Supreme Court precedent that stands in the way of confiscatory gun control, like the gun ban and confiscation programs implemented in Australia.
Senate Majority leader has already promised to quash the nomination, delightedly citing the “Biden rule” in the process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor to say that the Republican majority is going to observe the “Biden rule” in order to give the American people a voice in this “momentous decision.”

“American people may well elect a president who decided nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration; the next president may decide to nominate someone very different,” McConnell said. “Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy,” he added.

He also reminded colleagues of the origins of the Biden rule, which has its origins with then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) on the issue of judicial nominations during election years.

Sen. McConnell said, “President Obama made this nomination not with the intent with seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election, which is the type of thing then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Biden was concerned about; the exact thing Chairman Biden was concerned about.”

“The Biden rule underlines that what the president has done with this nomination would be unfair to any nominee,” he added.

Merrick Garland’s nomination was just the latest cynical attempt by a a bitter lame duck President undermine the right to bear arms of the American people, and it’s not going anywhere.


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