The answer to Durbin’s favorite question for SCOTUS nominees is in: Merrick Garland favors restricting personal freedoms

Blogger with Durbin in Chicago in 2019

By John Ruberry

When Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland in the final year of his presidency to replace Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court he was hailed by some as a moderate. 

Well “Moderate Merrick,” if he ever existed, is gone. 

Garland’s nomination was never acted upon by the US Senate, which was then in Republican control, and President Trump nominated Neal Gorsuch for the Scalia seat–and the Senate went on to confirm Gorsuch.

Had Garland faced the Senate he might have been asked this question from Sen. Dick Durbin, who is from Garland’s home state of Illinois, “Will you restrict the personal freedoms we enjoy as Americans or will you expand them?” Durbin posed that query to John Roberts during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings sixteen years ago and he has asked the same question, as did his predecessor, Paul Simon, during confirmation hearings for other SCOTUS nominees. 

Well we have the answer to the question that Durbin never asked Garland. Joe Biden’s attorney general favors restricting personal freedoms.

Last week, citing unnamed threats against unnamed school board members, Garland in a memorandum declared, “I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum.”

In short, Garland is unleashing the FBI against parents who have spoken out against hateful and bigoted Critical Race Theory offal that is being rammed down the throats of their children. Do you want someone like Agent Petty from Ozark showing up at your front door? Clearly Garland is plotting to separate parents from their children. After all, leftists from Karl Marx on have viewed parents as an obstacle to pursuing their goal of a perfect society, which of course is a totalitarian state where the elites, who of course are so much wiser than everyone else, guide the rabble. Yes the rabble. You know, people like me and you, part of a multi-million member conglomeration similar to Ozark’s redneck Langmore clan. That’s how our leftist “betters” see us.

Last month at a Virginia gubernatorial candidate debate, the Democrat nominee, longtime Clintonista Terry McAuliffe, let loose this surprising bit of candidness, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

I believe parents should have the defining voice in school curricula—as do undoubtedly most Americans. 

In his farewell address in 1989 Ronald Reagan said, “And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” And that is as it always should be.

But in his first inauguration speech as California governor the Gipper warned, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.”

We now have an attorney general–and a White House administration–that favors restricting freedom.

Don’t look for Durbin to call them out on it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

John Lausch needs to stay as US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

Blogger with Durbin in Chicago in 2020

By John Ruberry

Last Monday the Justice Department asked 56 U.S. attorneys to resign. There were two exceptions, John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, will stay on as the special counsel for the investigation of the Russian collusion hoax, and David Weiss, the prosecutor for Delaware, who is pursuing the probe into Hunter Biden’s taxes, and presumably, more.

Among the others are John R. Lausch Jr., the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, which of course includes that cesspool of corruption, Chicago and suburban Cook County. Appointed in 2017, Lausch has been methodically hacking away at the blighted forest that is Illinois government ever since. Among those indicted under Lausch’s term are a Chicago alderman, two suburban mayors (one of them was also Cook County commissioner), and two members of the Illinois General Assembly. They have one thing in common–all are Democrats. Lausch has chipped away at the political machine of state Representative Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who until last month had been state House speaker for all but two years since 1983. Lausch uncovered an alleged scam involving Commonwealth Edison, Illinois’ largest electric utility, that has led to the indictment of four senior executives at that company, as well as a longtime lobbyist with decades-long ties to Boss Madigan. 

Madigan is the midwife of the Illinois pension debacle and he is the man who destroyed Illinois. Sadly, those aren’t crimes.

Lausch seems to be closing the ring on Madigan, who remains as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, a post he’s held since 1998. Madigan maintains his innocence and he has not been charged with any crimes. But he’s a tough one to investigate–Madigan doesn’t use email and he doesn’t own a cell phone. There’s a lot of smoke surrounding the 78-year-old legislator–but so far no fire has been discovered. 

It took a lot longer than it should have but Illinois’ insipid Republican Party, the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters, finally pursued tying other Democratic candidates to Madigan, which led to a pretty good, but not great, general election for conservatives last autumn. The best result was the resounding defeat of the so-called Fair Tax Amendent, which would have replaced Illinois’ flat rate income tax with one with graduated rates. As I’ve quipped a few times before, Illinoisans finally figured out that if the Democrats were given an unlimited budget they would exceed it. 

After the general election Illinois’ two Democratic US Senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, called for Madigan’s resignation as party chairman. No, they didn’t suddenly realize that Madigan is toxic to Illinois; Durbin and Duckworth didn’t like the general election results here. 

The state House took care of the speakership problem, the Democrats ousted Madigan last month but replaced him with a longtime ally of the Boss. 

The day after the Justice Department announced those federal prosecutor resignations, in what the Chicago Tribune called “a lame news release,”  those two party-line hack senators called on Biden to keep Lausch on the job. I am very suspicious of their motives. Duckworth is up for reelection next year and if the federal investigation into Chicago area corruption stalls she might get the blunt of the blame for not convincing Biden to keep Lausch in place. 

Durbin is the new Senate Justice Committee chairman and prefers not to be accused of keeping corrupt Dems in power in his home state. Back to gerrymandering and Madigan: Aftet the 2010 census the state congressional map was redrawn to be much more favorable to Democrats. The 8th congressional district was transformed from a competitive one to a layout favoring Democrats. In 2012 Duckworth ousted the Republican incumbent, future never-Trumper Joe Walsh.

Remember, for many Democrats Madigan has been very good to them. His skills at gerrymandering have produced supermajorities in the General Assembly and have bolstered Democratic numbers among the Illinois US House delegation. There may have never been a Senator Duckworth had she not won that House race in 2012. Through government and compliant corporations like Commonwealth Edison, Madigan has been able to hand out contracts, favors, and jobs to those loyal to him–as well as their relatives.

Lausch needs to be kept on the job in Chicago. 

Biden’s nominee for Attorney General is Merrick Garland, a Chicago area native who was nominated by Barack Obama to the US Supreme Court seat that eventually went to Neil Gorsuch. But he hasn’t lived here in decades. Yet my guess is that Garland has kept his eyes on the fetid muck in Illinois. Perhaps he can put in a good word for Lausch to Biden or whoever is making the calls in the White House on federal prosecutors.

Sorry to be repetitive, but I have to keep mentioning this fact. Illinois has lost population every year since 2014. 

People have wised up. But not me. Not yet.

UPDATE February 23: Last night Michael Madigan resigned his post as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Last week Madigan gave up his House seat after 50 years in the General Assembly. Term limits anyone?

This afternoon, according to multiple media reports, Lausch will keep his job as US attorney until a replacement is found and presumably confirmed.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.