Merrick Garland Is Killing It

The SJC hearing is on the major cable channels and CSPAN. Streaming everywhere too I assume. It is really good viewing, as these things go. Yes, Ted Cruz came across as applicant to replace Sean Hannity. Yes Chris Coons preened for the cameras.

I generally have a fair amount of criticism for Ben Sasse, but he did extremely well today. Surprisingly so. Pat Leahy, despite a bit of rambling pontificating, did as well.

I would love to have a cross-examiner with a killer instinct like Katie Porter in the SJC.

Bottom line is that Merrick Garland is absolutely slaying this hearing.

48 replies
  1. BobCon says:

    The quality gap between Democratic nominees and GOP nominees on the whole is really striking over the years.

    There are exceptions both ways, of course, but it is pretty disappointing how few people outside of parts of liberal legal world observers want to admit how much the right benefits from quotas and set asides (and much of the liberal world doesn’t want to touch it).

    • GJT says:

      I wish he had better death penalty answers, though. The splitting cases is the wrong path, the correct path is “I think with how often our system gets it wrong, the option of life imprisonment for McVeigh is acceptable so we don’t kill one of the thousands of people we have later exonerated, and thus end up with state sponsored murder of an innocent person”.

  2. Mister Sterling says:

    Garland hasn’t wavered, even when he has been tricked into commenting on other nominees (that was dirty, by Mike Lee). What I also found striking is how dumb John Kennedy is. He really has to be the dumbest senator in decades. “Am I a racist!?” Senator, if you must ask out loud…

    Also, Cruz is quite amazing with his re-writing of DOJ history. Did you know that Holder was Obama’s wingman, and together they politicized and weaponized the DOJ to go after Obama’s enemies? Those were such dark times.

    • MB says:

      The dumbest Oxford-educated senator ever? To join with his Harvard-educated colleague Ted Cruz and his Yale-educated colleague Josh Hawley?

      • Ewan says:

        Not exactly Oxford educated. He was educated at Vanderbilt and University of Virginia. Then, after 8 years in higher education, having already obtained a JD, he went to Oxford to get (again) a BCL (normally started after 3 years of undergraduate studies).

    • timmer says:

      In the race of worst among the current gaggle, this year’s award must go to Senator Ron Johnson (ALEC-WI). dumber than a pound of cheese

  3. Ruthie says:

    I almost threw up in my mouth when I heard Tom Cotton try to trap Garland into an answer on the death penalty that would make him sound indifferent toward white supremacist violence while Cotton feigned his own concern. Not that I think anyone is stupid enough to buy it. What a weasel.

  4. Jetgarden says:

    I want Katie Porter in every hearing possible. She is instructive, informed and on target. Absolutely every witness hates her, which makes her #1 in my book. Hold their feet to the fire Katie!

    • Rayne says:

      Of course she won’t be participating in any Senate committee hearings related to Biden’s nominees since she’s in the House. But I look forward to the day Porter might be able to run for the Senate — perhaps very soon.

      • punaise says:

        I would love to see Katie Porter take over DiFi Inc.’s ™ seat. Gavin has his eye on it, of course, but his stock ain’t doing so well these days. KP would make a better Senator.

        • P J Evans says:

          second that emotion!
          (Not voting to recall Newsom, if it gets to the ballot, but not voting to re-elect or promote him, either. He wobbles a lot as Governor, and is in hock to Big Oil and Big Ag.)

          • punaise says:

            That’s kind of where I am with Newsom. I defended him and his ambition perhaps too much on his way to the governorship, and for a long time I did view as a good and likely successor to Feinstein. Less than thrilled with his actual governing lately, but I certainly am not on board with the recall.

            • blueedredcounty says:

              Feinstein should have retired after releasing the Torture report. I’m not fond of Newsom, but I don’t support the recall, either. Since he seems to love them so much, he should retire at the end of his term and become a lobbyist. Or maybe he can turn to his ex for suggestions on post-political-career options.

              • NickinNJ says:

                Not sure anyone should be getting career advice from Ms. Guilfoyle. She hasn’t really been killing it… unless you count her reputation.

        • Justlp says:

          I wholeheartedly agree with both sentiments. Katie Porter has exemplified what Dems need a lot more of as far as asking tough questions. Kamala was pretty good at that too. I would love for Katie to replace DiFi. I think DF needs to retire.

          I liked Gavin a lot, but he has bounced around so much on Covid mitigation that it makes my head spin!

    • Mister Sterling says:

      Does anyone think she’s a little on the spectrum? Or am I so used to representatives not asking great questions and being aggressive, that her arrival has lead me to mistakenly think she has a little Asperger’s? Know who she reminds me a little of? Alan Grayson, former FL-9 representative. He had very little filter.

      • Dizz says:

        How Rep. Katie Porter—Congress’s Only Single Mom—Is Making It Work in Quarantine May 13, 2020
        In addition to her duties as a second-term Representative from CA, Ms. Porter is a single mother of 3 – her oldest is a teenager.
        Her communications skills are therefore current and well-honed.
        She brings preparation, dedication, and awesome skills to the hearings. She is in marked contrast to many of her colleagues.

      • PeterS says:

        I don’t understand why you would ask that question. I only see an excellent politician and a thoroughly decent person.

      • CHETAN R MURTHY says:

        I think the *assumption* for any woman who has gone to high places in a people-centric business (and both law and politics are that) is that she’s a real people-person, with a fine emotional thermometer. B/c no woman lacking those skills, would have survived to rise to that position.

        It’s like what someone once wrote about how Black people are *experts* in white fragility, b/c they’re constantly having to make sure not to set it off and suffer the dire consequences.

      • Robot17 says:

        I miss Grayson. Used to send him money for his campaigns. I think he ran afoul of the purity wing of the Dems.

          • Robot17 says:

            Apparently. I never learned the details but I appreciated his combative nature. The Dems tend to be milk toast IMO and I get tired of it after awhile. Atomic Shadow’s link below is quite interesting I thought. Politicians as Avatars of their constituents is an interesting distinction. I guess Grayson was that for me but obviously his darker nature is unacceptable, although I think Dems go overboard on that front (see Al Frankin).

  5. Atomic Shadow says:

    It’s comforting to think that Cruz, or Mike Lee are not that smart. But the truth is more sad and stupid than that. They are only as smart as their voters want them to be.

    I ran across this article on The Bulwark. Item #2 explains the idea pretty well.

    “Politicians will only be as virtuous as their voters allow, or as wicked as their voters demand.”

    It’s changed how I look at where we are, and how we got here.

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      My daughter played on an overwhelming volleyball team in 5th and 6th grade, so I’m very familiar with “playing down to the level of your opponents”.

      The Bulwark quote sounds very familiar!

  6. Badger Robert says:

    Senator Durbin said in MSNBC that he has a few Republicans who will vote to report positively, so DofJ likely knows Judge Garland will take over.

  7. graham firchlis says:

    Regarding John N. Kennedy’s intellect, consider:

    High school valedictorian; magna cum laude, PBK and president of his senior class at Vanderbilt; JD and executive editor of Law Review at UVa; and Bachelor of Civil Law with first class honors from Oxford. Not a dummy.

    The Foghorn Leghorn shtick is just that, an act designed to convince the poorly educated voters of Louisiana that “He’s jus’ lak uus!” Fooled you too?

    Shamelessly ten kinds of bigot, he represents the values of his voters as AtomicShadow references above, somebody to enjoy settin’ down wid for a beer and a boil.

    [More on that regarding Nancy Pelosi, at another time.]

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, Ted Cruz is supposedly a genius too. It is swell that you want to buck up Senator Cornpone Bigot. Thanks for the warning that you are going to blithefully kiss more Pelosi ass.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Nothing I wrote could possibly be interpreted as “supporting” Kennedy. He is a lothsome creature, putting on a dumb act for his voters. That’s what I wrote, and that’s what I meant, only that.

        Erecting strawmen you can easily destroy is child’s play. If you are embarrassed by having fallen for Kennedy’s well practiced act, don’t take it out on me. If you want to make a case that he racked up his academic honors through stupidity, have at it. With proof,

        I’ll wait…..

  8. mospeck says:
    Masha is always great, but sometimes too brutal, in this case going rather harshly after the noble Amnesty Internationallers for their small mistake (their accidental alliance with vlad’s GRU and FSB boys). Masha, with all due respect, think here diplomacy is required. And Ripley, being more subtle, Ellen would keep things in private, say, in an AI group meeting, quietly pointing out their tiny error.

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