by Montgomery Blair Sibley, ©2018, blogging at Amo Probos

(Dec. 10, 2018) — Dedication

For My Grandmother, Georgiana Farr Sibley who said:

Equality is not an anthropological, political, sociological or economic question; it is a theological question. Either God made everybody in God’s own image, or God didn’t make anybody at all.

Chapter One

The Honorable Merrick Brian Garland — Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — was beyond furious, he was vengeful; Old Testament God vengeful and in his right hand lay a mighty swift sword of retribution.

He had done everything right: Graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian from Harvard College; graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review; served as a law clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.

In 1993, Garland joined the new Clinton administration as deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice supervising high-profile domestic-terrorism cases, including the Oklahoma City bombing. He made sure the results in each case were as ordered and that significant, but embarrassing, questions remained unanswered.

After brief stints in a major international law firm — Arnold & Porter which left him with a net worth of some $20 million — President Clinton appointed him to the federal bench where he rose to the second highest court in the land — the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals where he became its Chief Judge.

There was only one office left for which he had been preparing his whole life: Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Garland was considered twice for that office in 2009 and in 2010. Both times he saw himself passed over by President Obama in favor of the more politically-correct appointees: women Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

So when Montgomery Blair Sibley raised the issue of the curious dismissal by the Obama Department of Justice of the 1985 indictment of the domestic terrorist, fugitive Elizabeth Duke, Judge Garland had a political chip he knew would get him the nomination he had so long craved.  In that matter, for no given reason, a Magistrate Judge had impersonated a federal judge and signed an order dismissing the indictment of the Weather Underground member and U.S. Capitol bombing Elizabeth Duke in 2009.  When Sibley objected to the D.C. Circuit Court, Judge Garland buried the case to avoid the scandal that an intellectually honest review would have caused then President Obama.

Thus, Judge Garland was not surprised when President Obama on March 16, 2016, nominated him to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia.  Judge Garland had more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in history.  He was a shoe-in to be approved by the Senate.

But in 2016 the death grip of partisan politics had tighten its grip on the Constitutionally-mandated process for approving judicial appointments.  Long a contentious battle, the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold a hearing or vote on Judge Garland’s nomination insisting that the next elected president should fill the vacancy.  Thus, in January 2017, Obama’s nomination of Judge Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court expired and with it any realistic hopes of Judge Garland ever getting to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Garland born to a Jewish family and was raised in Conservative Judaism.  That creed, at its Passover celebration, recited Psalm 79 as part of the Haggadah:

Pour forth Your wrath upon the nations that do not recognize You and upon the kingdoms that do not invoke Your name. For they have devoured Jacob and destroyed his habitation. Pour forth Your fury upon them and let Your burning wrath overtake them. Pursue them with anger and destroy them from beneath the heavens of the Lord.

On a cold January 2017 day, sitting at his desk in Chambers, Judge Garland wondered how he could “pour forth” his vengeance on those who denied him his just due.  And not just the Republicans in the Senate, but the Democrats as well who played similar politics with the workings of the Republic for their own political party’s advantage.
While a shaft of divine light did not stream through the window of his Chambers and highlight the case sitting before him on his desk, it might as well have for Judge Garland saw the case as divine intervention. The case, Sibley v. McConnell and Ryan, in the hands of a judge as canny as Judge Garland, would allow Judge Garland to “destroy them from beneath the heavens of the Lord” all those who had so fouled the Constitution and, more importantly, left Judge Garland an embittered man.

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