Former Vice President Joe Biden struggled to remember the name of President Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Although his nomination was ultimately torpedoed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Garland controversy has been at the center of Democrat talking points since 2016.
Leader McConnell took one of the biggest political risks in modern history by declining to hold hearings or a vote on Judge Garland’s nomination, on the logic that a Supreme Court nominee should not be confirmed in a presidential election year amidst a divided government. Besides the abundance of historical precedent to legitimize Leader McConnell’s bold move, the senator from Kentucky used the logic of Vice President Biden. Then-Senator Biden, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged the Senate not to consider a Supreme Court nominee ahead of the November election in a June 1992 floor-speech.
Despite his high-stakes in the Garland nomination, the former Vice President struggled to identify Judge Garland by name in a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel.
"Back when, when they were holding up before Trump got elected, they were holding up, uh, um, the nomination of the president put forward for the Supreme Court," Biden said. Kimmel swooped in and reminded the Vice President of the name "Merrick Garland."
Joe Biden forgets Merrick Garland’s name, peace be upon him. pic.twitter.com/LqG7o81wc3— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 26, 2019
The former Vice President is infamously known for his gaffes, but these slip-ups are no longer few and far between. Forgetting the name of his own Supreme Court nominee, just after confusing Prime Minister Teresa May with Margaret Thatcher, is nothing short of concerning. These blunders are not on-par with those of 2008 Joe Biden.
Since the 2017 confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Democrats have consistently railed against President Trump and Leader McConnell for ‘stealing’ Judge Garland’s seat. Conversely, the GOP has, rightfully, used the prospect of Supreme Court nominations to rally the base. After the Democrats’ despicable, unforgivable performance during the Kavanaugh hearings, the American people know what is at stake and how far the Democrats will go to stop a qualified jurist. If former Vice President Biden wants to be able to compete with President Trump on the debate stage and campaign trail, he should be ready for the Supreme Court to be at the center of the platform.
Although he cannot seem to remember his name now, Biden said in July that he would be open to re-nominating Garland to the Supreme Court, should a vacancy open.