According to the Daily Mail, Obama has a brief period of time during tomorrow’s Supreme Court recess to appoint a liberal judge to the Supreme Court. Obama has just a five minute window to implement the decision, which would be “highly controversial and could be ruled invalid by the courts.”
The Supreme Court has attempted to limit Obama’s power in recent years, after he “appointed three people to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 during a three-day recess in the middle of a congressional session,” appointments which the court later ruled invalid.
There’s a lot of speculation on whether or not Obama will use his power to appoint Garland. If he does, the appointment would only last a year as there is a law regarding term limits when a decision is made during a recess period. Garland’s term would end in December, 2017.
A pinnacle year for the Trump transition, a 2017 appointment of Judge Garland could alter the balance of power in the courts – especially if Garland stays true to his liberal views on gun control, abortion, and immigration.
Just how liberal is Judge Garland? The New York Times declares that “A Supreme Court With Merrick Garland Would Be the Most Liberal in Decades.” Garland is being juxtaposed against Judge Scalia, who passed away in 2016, as having nearly polar opposite views. Donald Trump has publicly praised the record and legacy of a more conservative Judge Scalia.
The appointment of Garland could be one of Obama’s last jabs at the incoming administration. The New York Times stating that “his addition would make the justice at the center of the court more liberal than at any point in nearly 50 years.”
The LA Times points out that Garland, if appointed, could majorly affect the Presidential scope of power in regards to immigration. While citing a Texas case regarding states rights in deportation laws, the Times says “the ninth justice will be in a position to decide whether the next president has broad power, or a limited authority, when it comes to immigration.”
Hopefully Obama can restrain himself from making last minute changes to the bench.