George Graham

An Empty Gesture



By nominating Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama put Republicans on the spot politically but missed an opportunity to fire up the Democratic base going into November’s general election.

Judge Garland seems to be a decent man and a good judge. But he is not by anyone’s definition “progressive.” In fact, he seems to lean to the right, especially on such vital issues as illegal police searches.

Of course the nomination is pure theater. Garland will not be confirmed this year – if at all.

Mitch McConnell is refusing to let the Senate hold hearings on the confirmation, and some senators won’t even meet with the man.

Nothing anyone says or does is going to change that – despite musings to the contrary by some TV pundits.

The Supreme Court vacancy will be filled by the next President. And if that happens to be Hillary, she might go with Garland out of respect for Obama. But she could choose someone else.

If it happens to be Bernie, you know he would prefer someone more left leaning.

And if the next President happens to be  a Republican, the empty seat will almost certainly be filled by a right-wing crusader who wants to ban abortion and probably even birth control.

And the court will move even farther to the right, reversing a century of enlightenment.

Is that’s the kind of America the voters want?

I wouldn’t have thought so, but with the stunning rise of Donald Trump, who knows?

Just like that movie, a lot of Americans are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more. They could very well decide to put a certifiable nut in the White House regardless of the consequences.

And they could get their way if the sane majority stay home in November the way they did last election.

Click for more on Judge Garland.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for