Lawyer Turns to Supreme Court to Force Garland Vote

Long-shot request comes after failure in trial, appellate courts.

, The National Law Journal


President Barack Obama may be giving up on U.S. Senate confirmation of Chief Judge Merrick Garland, his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, but a New Mexico lawyer is making one last appeal—this time to the high court itself. Steven Michel of Santa Fe on Thursday filed an emergency application for an injunction that would require Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on the Garland nomination before Obama's term ends on Jan. 20.

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What's being said

  • Avon

    I see three reasons why this case is worth Supreme Court consideration: - I think it‘s reasonable for the SCOTUS to decide whether a (slim) Senate majority does indeed have the prerogative to refuse to even consider a judicial nominee, and/or to dictate a "blackout period" when the duty and right to nominate is suspended. (I note that the Constitution sets a 10-day limit if a president sits on passed legislation without either vetoing, returning or signing it - it‘s deemed approved.) This issue could arise anytime - even in 2017, if enough Senators object to any Trump nomination within the last four years of his own term. - I think it‘s a weak excuse, but one deserving of SCOTUS judgment, whether the right to appoint a judge is forfeited by refusing to accept Senate advice. (Though I doubt any advice was offered.) Rather, I think it‘s likelier that the Senate forfeits its role by sitting on a nomination indefinitely. - I agree that Michel‘s lack of standing is a high hurdle, but again the SCOTUS has a duty to decide things it ordinarily shouldn‘t touch (e.g. if they all have cause to recuse when a decision is essential). So that too ought to be decided here. I believe the above is worthwhile even if it‘s now way too late for the Garland nomination, and regardless of whether the Senate would vote No on it. To say Michel is a hack, or that Obama wouldn‘t have listened to advice, or that losers in litigation should be jailed, is merely making stuff up for the sake of a tantrum. If anyone could believe that, perhaps I might care.

  • Richard M

    Standing is going to be very hard to prove here.

  • Doctor J

    Is this n.ot a waste of time and money? The Senate House will not approve anyway. What is this guy trying to prove? Anyone have any insight?

  • O.W. Holmes

    Mr. Michel is a loser partisan hack without standing. A lame-duck president willfully failed to seek the Senate‘s advice on this SCOTUS nomination, and thus the Senate majority is well within its constitutional right to withhold its consent. Case closed. Throw Mr. Michel in jail for a week to teach him to never waste taxpayers‘ money so contemptuously again.

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