by Walter Brasch
The U.S. Senate—under the leadership of Mitch McConnell who once said his primary mission was to see that the Senate didn’t agree with anything President Obama said or did, and to limit him to one term—continues to be one of the nation’s leading obstructionists. This time, the Senate isn’t meeting to advise or consent to the President’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
Garland was valedictorian in his class at Harvard College and a magna cum laude graduate from the Harvard law school. He worked in the Department of Justice before becoming the chief judge on the D,C. Court of Appeals, having been confirmed by the Senate, March 1997.
The reason for the judicial committee not to meet to even discuss the nomination to the Supreme Court, according to the Republican members, is not because of the judge’s qualifications—he is widely praised by plaintiffs and defendants, Democrats, Republicans, and most third parties—but because they don’t believe a president in his last year of office should nominate Supreme Court justices, even though six justices were confirmed by the Senate since 1900 in a president’s last year of office. The reality is that the Republicans by violating their constitutional responsibility for more than a year are hoping a Republican president will appoint a less qualified but very conservative individual to the Supreme Court.
The following scene reflects what the Republicans apparently want in a Supreme Court justice.
Facing the Senate Sub-Committee on Obstruction of American Life was President Obama’s latest choice for Supreme Court justice.
“Have you now or have you ever led anything and did you ever have any opinions?” asked the committee chair, Sen. Porkbelly Pineapple.
“I once led Boy Scout Troop 7 on a Wilderness hike,” said the nominee. “But I never told them they must be led or that they should follow my example or that they couldn’t have any opinions about the hike.”
“I believe in Rush Limbaugh, God, motherhood, the American flag, and apple pie,” said the nominee.
“Did you say apple pie?” asked Sen. Harry Hazelnut.
“No, no!” said a sweating nominee. “I meant to say cherry pie. Yeah, that’s it. I believe in cherry pie. It was George Washington’s favorite pie, and whatever was good enough for the father of our country is good enough for me. Unless he later disowned cherry pie. And if he did, then so do I.”
Are you now or have you ever been a member of a left-wing Commie pinko organization like the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or the Democratic party?” asked Sen. Lizzie Catscratch.
“No, ma’am,” replied the nominee. “I believe in whatever it is that you believe in. I’m real loyal to anyone who votes for me.”
“That’s very commendable of you,” said Sen. Catscratch, “Do have some views about the Bill of Rights?”
“I believe in the Bill of Rights,” said the nominee, “but not that persons who don’t believe in it shouldn’t be allowed not to believe in it. If they want to believe in the Bill of Rights, that’s fine, but no one should make anyone believe in anything they don’t believe in.”
“Not even about the government’s role in the First Amendment?” asked Sen. Salamander Peachpit, “and those lying scumbags who spend a lifetime defending all that free speech nonsense?”
“Oh, those people,” said the nominee. “I say if they can’t buy their own newspaper or TV station, they shouldn’t be talking about anything, except how great it is to own guns. Lots of guns. Pistols and rifles and assault weapons and even a few mortars.”
“A fine philosophy,” said Sen. Oiltanker Oldsludge. “Do you have any views about the environment?”
“None.” When no one said anything, and several senators began writing furiously on their Post-it notepads, the nominee quickly retreated. “What I meant was that I have no negative views of what has happened to the environment. As a Supreme justice, it would be my responsibility to make sure that the environment didn’t adversely affect the rights of corporations to make money and take all the loopholes in the IRS forms it can find, thus strengthening the economy and our American way of life.”
“I’m opposed to obscenity and pornography,” the nominee firmly responded. “Unless, of course, it can clearly be shown that paying for pornographic films or books was done solely as an investment in American business or a relative’s desire to make a few bucks, and not just to look at dirty pictures.”
“I assume you also oppose that obscenity known as abortion,” stated Sen. Philip Fullterm.
“Abortion?” asked the nominee. “I’m afraid I don’t know what that is. And, even if I did know what it is, which I assure you I don’t, I’d argue that abortion is an evil curse given to us by the Devil himself. Unless, of course, you gentlemen believe in abortion, or ever had an abortion, or ever had a mistress have an abortion, in which case I’d say it was acceptable, but only for senators.”
“Do you hate anyone or any religion or any ethnic goup?” asked Sen. Roger Wilco.
“No, sir. I don’t hate anyone or anything.”
Again there was a silence, soon to be filled by the future justice. “What I meant to say is that I love to hate. Muslims. Jews. Anyone whose religion isn’t mine. And I should elaborate that there are many ethnics who need to be kept behind walls in order to secure America as a safe place for all Americans with white pasty skin or suntan parlor orange and blonde hair. Yeah, that’s what I really meant.”
The silence was filled by applause from a majority of the committee.
After another hour of questioning, Sen. Pineapple told the nominee the panel was unanimously impressed with his qualifications but, most important, his lack of any ethics and policy views. “One other thing,” he asked, “It’s not really all that important, and certainly won’t affect our decisions, but did you ever attend law school?”
[Dr. Brasch is or is not a professor emeritus from Bloomsburg University. His views and opinions, if he had any, which he denies having, may or may not reflect the views and opinions of anyone else, including his university. He is also the author of Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Benefit, which may or may not support the oil/gas industry or those who oppose the oil/gas industry or just about anyone who has a conviction of his or her beliefs.]