Senator Orrin Hatch Reverses Himself on Merrick Garland Nomination

Eric Zuesse

On March 13th, Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch said of Obama’s process to nominate a replacement for the deceased former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, “This is all about the election. The President told me several times he’s going to nominate a moderate, but I don’t believe him. He could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man. He probably won’t do that.”

On March 16th, President Obama announced, “Today I am nominating Chief judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court.” 

On March 17th, Senator Hatch said, “I remain convinced that the best way for the Senate to do its job is to conduct the confirmation process after this toxic Presidential election season is over.”

In other words: Senator Hatch is saying that between now and 9 November 2016, the Supreme Court should be hearing and deciding cases as it currently is, with only 8 of the Court’s 9 seats occupied. President Obama nominated the exact person whom Hatch said is “a fine man.” In 1997, Hatch had said of Garland, “I know him personally, I know his integrity, I know his legal ability, I know of his honesty, I know of his acumen. He belongs on the Court [of Appeals for the DC Circuit].” However, if a Republican wins the Presidency (which means the nominee couldn’t be named until some time after 20 January 2017), then Hatch will want that new President to nominate the person to fill the empty seat — not the Democratic President we now have — not even when that Democratic President has chosen the very person whom Hatch was recommending he pick.

What, then, did Hatch mean when he said on March 13th, “He could easily name Merrick Garland”?

Did he mean it would be easy for the words “Merrick Garland” to be spoken by President Obama? Or did he mean that Merrick Garland would have Hatch’s support if the existing President nominated him? If Hatch meant the latter, then Hatch was lying. If he meant the former, then he was a fool.

Either way, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and therefore the most influential person other than the U.S. President himself on this entire matter, is obviously a hypocrite.

He’s a liar, like all Republican politicians and almost all Democratic politicians.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of President Obama (and I, for one, detest him as a liar himself who is as much a pawn of Wall Street as Republicans are), the Republicans in Congress have been so incredibly hostile and uncooperative with this President during his Presidency, there’s nothing in U.S. history that’s comparably bigoted against any U.S. President. Do they think they can get away with it just because he’s ‘black’ and they don’t think of Blacks as human beings, and they know that in Republican primary elections the voters also don’t, and will therefore renominate these bigots, and so they’ll keep their Senate seats — as such bigots?

Some Democrats are vile, but all Republicans are — isn’t that crystal clear here?

Anyone who supports the Republican Party is just a KKK’er without his white robes and mask on. That’s what Republican ‘conservatism’ actually stands for: American racist fascism — the U.S. type of nazism. They don’t want to be ‘politically correct’ because nazis don’t — not anywhere, in any nation. At least conservative Democrats feel embarrassed to be like that — they don’t want the face under their ‘politically correct’ mask to be seen even by other Democrats. In the Republican Party, the bigotry is so out-in-the-open. Even such a largely conservative black Democrat as President draws their revulsion. The only type of Black whom they can support is blatant Uncle Toms, such as Colin Powell and Ben Carson — if even those. And even a black President under whose leadership Blacks have been harmed economically even more than Whites (who, unlike Blacks, have recovered at least a little bit from George W. Bush’s economic crash) cannot do Blacks enough harm so as to gain the support of Republicans. (And only Republican news-sites have publicized the fact that Obama has been even worse for Blacks than he has been for Whites, but it’s the case; Blacks don’t care enough to even notice it — they’ve been blind to it, and want more of the same under his chosen white successor Hillary Clinton, who likewise has done nothing but words for Blacks.)

Perhaps if Whites accept white racism, the fact that Blacks accept black racism (i.e., that they support even pro-Establishment Blacks like Obama) isn’t particularly remarkable. But the way that the Republican Party has behaved regarding America’s first black President is a historical embarrassment upon this entire nation — and it is blatant.

Even if Senator Orrin Hatch tries to be ‘politically correct’ about his display of extraordinary racism, the white face under his all-but-KKK verbal hood is visible to anyone who has eyes, and enough light to be able to see through his obvious hypocrisy. The consistent Republican obstructionism throughout Obama’s Presidency has been simply stunning.

Republicans were almost as obstructionist when Bill Clinton was in the White House, because he pretended very well to be a white ‘soul brother,’ but for Republicans now to be promising to hold up a Supreme Court nominee — urged upon this President by Orrin Hatch himself — for nearly 8 months if the Democrat wins, and for more than 10 months if the Republican wins, is simply unconscionable. It’s so blatant, they’ll almost certainly have to back-peddle and cave-in so as not to suffer major losses in the upcoming congressional elections. The fact that anyone votes for these frauds is a pathetic commentary upon today’s American ‘democracy.’


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.