Have a little faith in Merrick Garland, and an unbiased judiciary – Bangor Daily News

Have a little faith in Merrick Garland, and an unbiased judiciary - Bangor Daily News
Jimmy Kimmel Live! | Trumps Fate in Merrick Garlands Hands
Late-night hosts poked fun at the housing secretarys Oreo error and the possibility of Trumps case being seen by Merrick Garland

Facebook Twitter Pinterest The Late Show with Stephen Colbert opened with a direct jab at the presidents losing battle with Congress, with the host telling his audience: If you pay attention, you know that Donald Trump and Congress are fighting. I would say theyre at each others throats but its hard to find the throat under all the old man jowl in there.

Those celebrating about Garlands role here seem to think that he will automatically be combative or skeptical of Trumps position in court based on the previous nomination experience. Thats a dangerous assumption undermining the critical pillars of impartiality and fairness that buttress our legal system. And it falls victim of the same reductionist and problematic view of the judicial branch that Trump himself displays.

Read more Colbert then focused on the report of Trump blocking the former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying to the House judiciary committee. Jerry Nadler, the committee chair, was not pleased, admonishing the lawyer to an empty chair in what was supposed to be the proceedings. Colbert mocked this, taking on Nadlers tone to say: Now, Ive got some serious questions for Donald Trumps La-Z-Boy, by which I mean his son. Congress also subpoenaed Trumps accounting firm for his financial records, but even this move was challenged by Trump in court. But finally, the judge upheld the subpoena.

Even in refusing to consider his nomination, those senators did not question Garlands qualifications to serve on the nations highest court. A well-respected and seasoned judge like Garland can surely separate the poor political treatment he received three years ago from his responsibility as an impartial member of the judicial branch. And the general public should do the same.

Video: Trump reacts to judges ruling on financial records

Trump, however, had something to say about it because the judge was apparently appointed by former president Barack Obama. Colbert impersonated Trumps disdain, saying: You cant trust an Obama-appointed judge. Take it from me, a Putin-appointed president.

Video: Federal judge sides with Congress, ordering Trump to turn over financial records

Trump has since pledged to appeal against the ruling, meaning the case is going to the DC circuit court of appeals. Colbert made a big show of telling his audience who heads the court with a drumroll and a golden envelope that carried the name of Judge Merrick Garland. Garland, whose nomination to the supreme court was shut down by Senate Republicans, will probably oversee the case, to the delight of Colbert and his audience. The host even grinned while warning the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who effectively blocked Garlands nomination. Oh, and brace yourself, Mitch McConnell. Because paybacks a Mitch!

But it was never Garlands Supreme Court seat to begin with, nor was it Obamas. That seat is one of nine that belong to the American people, and while we should all be concerned about the way that Republicans handled Garlands nomination, the notion that either party or individuals are entitled to seats on the court is decidedly unhelpful to our national debate.

Video: Trumps Fate in Merrick Garlands Hands

Colbert then shifted to the appearance of the housing and urban development secretary, Ben Carson, before the House of Representatives. Calling him the Sleepytime tea bear, Colbert poked fun at Carsons lack of knowledge for his own field and agency. The secretary faltered on questions about the Office of Minority Women Inclusion (OMWI) and REOs. After saying the secretary was totally unqualified for his job, Colbert then mocked Carsons demeanor throughout the hearing: Help me out. Im not a rocket scientist. Im only a brain surgeon.

Garland is the top judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is next to hear a case involving a congressional request for financial documents from Trump dating back years before he was elected. Garland is also the former Supreme Court nominee chosen by then-President Barack Obama in 2016 and stonewalled by Senate Republicans.

Video: Trumps Fate in Merrick Garlands Hands

Facebook Twitter Pinterest On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host also focused on the news of the upheld subpoena from the House oversight committee. I would have hated to have been the mozzarella stick Trump has gnawing on when he got that news, he said. Kimmel said the ruling was reasonable to everyone but Trump and that the fate of his financial records may rest in the hands of Garland. How great is that? Thats like if Donald and Melania renewed their vows and the minister was Stormy Daniels.

Unfortunately, many Trump critics are defaulting to his style of judicial simplicity rather than opting for Roberts nuance. Perhaps its foolish to expect thoughtful judicial takes on Twitter, but is it too much to ask that people who accuse Trump of undermining democratic norms have a little respect for those norms themselves?

Kimmel then turned to the strange plan to fund Trumps border wall, which now includes collecting left-behind change from the airport security lines. The Department of Homeland Security wants to use the $3m collected to help pay for the wall. Kimmel laughed at this, telling his audience: For those of you keeping track, were now officially at the looking for money in the couch cushions portion of this plan. He continued: This is not a plan to strengthen border security; this is how a nine-year-old saves up to buy a skateboard.

Trump has long employed a strategy of attempting to tie the legitimacy of a judges ruling to the president who nominated them, which he continued this week when calling the financial documents ruling against him totally the wrong decision by, obviously, an Obama-appointed judge.

Kimmel then took aim at Trumps pep himself rally speech, in which the former businessman went on a diatribe about several things but bizarrely focused on some lights, saying they were crazy and very bright. The host flipped the complaint, telling his audience: Hes right, the lights are very bright. Maybe they should be president for a little while.

So it was disappointing to see a cascade of celebration on Twitter earlier this week after a federal judge ruled against Trumps effort to fight the congressional subpoena, making Garlands court the next step for a case that may eventually wind up at the Supreme Court.

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