Friday, March 18, 2016

Can Clinton change Garland's chances of confirmation?

What would happen if Hillary Clinton said that if Scalia's seat is still open when she takes office, she would appoint someone younger and more liberal than Merrick Garland? (She wouldn't even have to say anything that explicit. Just that she "would consider" someone more like Justice Brennan without naming any names.)

When we move out of primary season at some point in the general election race, there will inevitably come a day when Clinton is polling ahead whatever lunatic the GOP nominates (especially if you look at the electoral map which clearly favors democrats). Would nervousness about the possibility of a scary more liberal Hillary nominee be enough to make cracks in the GOP wall of opposition to Garland?

I guess they could tell themselves they could always confirm Garland in the lame duck session if Clinton wins the election. But what if Obama said that he will withdraw his Garland nomination if he is not confirmed by election day? Would that be enough incentive to get them to move on Garland?