President Obama has just announced that the Supreme Court nominee to replace deceased Antonin Scalia will be Merrick Garland. Many people are celebrating Obama’s selection, saying that Garland is a moderate or centrist and is likely to put Senate Republicans in their place – but what about the rest of us? We need a progressive liberal justice who will shape America for the next several presidencies, not some bargaining chip that will appease establishment Republicans.

In case you are unfamiliar with Merrick Garland, here is a quick pros and cons list about his nomination.

The Good:

  • He is, according to many people, highly respected by the establishment.
  • If you are looking for a candidate that a Republican Senate will actually approve, he is the best shot.
  • He has a lot of experience.

The Bad:

  • He is another Jewish white male  – where is the representation?
  • He would be the oldest nominee in 40 years at 63.
  • He is very pro-police and rarely votes in favor of criminal appeals.
  • He is unlikely to turn over existing criminal justice rulings like the death penalty.
  • During his time as a lawyer, he represented the tobacco industry.
  • During his time as a lawyer, he fought against the Clean Air Act.
  • During his time as a lawyer, he represented corporate entities.
  • As a judge, he voted against allowing Guantanamo detainees access to civil courts.
  • He is absolutely not a progressive liberal.
  • Orrin Hatch loves the guy.
  • He is just a placeholder to call Republican Senate’s bluff
  • He will almost certainly side with Conservative justices.
Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at