NRL News

Swing voters “completely uninterested” in Supreme Court nomination fight

by | Apr 26, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick B. Garland

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick B. Garland

My guess is it represented a kind of back-handed compliment, a measure of grudging respect. The Washington Post, always in the tank for Democrats and dutifully on the front lines of the effort to elevate Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, ran a story by Mike DeBonis, “Why the effort to keep Merrick Garland off the Supreme Court has been remarkably successful.”

As a regular reader of NRL News and NRL News Today, you know NRLC’s position a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. NRLC President Carol Tobias explained it in her March NRL News column, which preceded President Obama’s selection of Judge Garland:

“This is not primarily about the professional credentials of a particular nominee – it is about who picks the justice who will decide whether unborn children will be protected, whether religious liberty will be protected, and whether the free-speech rights of groups out of favor with the liberal elites will be protected. President Obama hopes to decisively shift the Court’s balance on abortion, political free-speech rights, and a host of other issues. Yet, while President Obama has the authority to nominate, he appoints only with the consent of the Senate. The Republican senators have decided that, with an upcoming election in November, the voters should decide what kind of justice they want on the Court by the election of a presidential candidate.”

And as you know from a post that March 17, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker politely demolished the nation (as Glenn Kessler summarized the Democrats’ positon) that “Republicans have a ‘constitutional duty’ to at least hold hearings and a vote on a nominee.”

Kessler concluded that when Democrats said this, they were “simply telling supporters a politically convenient fairy tale.”

DeBonis interviewed a woman whose organization is in the forefront of the resistance to holding hearings on Judge Garland. She made many important points, including that organizations (such as National Right to Life) have taken a principled position in opposition to the nomination.

She added “[T]he American people do not want to see the Supreme Court shift dramatically to the left, and that is what would happen in Merrick Garland were confirmed.”

We would add, “Which would include adding another rock-solid pro-abortion vote to the High Court.”

Tip of the hat to Ed Morrissey over at He wrote an interesting piece about a recent conversation Associated Press correspondent Julie Pace had with CNN’s John King. Pace described sitting in on focus groups which were asked about the President’s latest Supreme Court nominee:

PACE: I sat in on some focus groups this past week with both swing voters and Republican voters, and some of the questions they were asked were about the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. And this was a real reality check for anyone in Washington who thinks that this issue is really animating voters across the country. I was so struck by how these voters seemed comply uninterested in the nomination fight. Among the swing voters, not one of them said that this was something that would really impact their vote in the fall. And even among the Republican voters who felt like this nomination should wait until the next president, almost none felt like this was an issue that was going to affect their vote either in the presidential race or in their Senate race.

KING: Nice try Mr. President, [laughter] I guess is the result.

Categories: Supreme Court