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.

Unfiltered Afghan Trips, Moderates vs Progressives, Masks in MA, Goose and Ganders at SCOTUS & Harris shows the side she’s on Under the Fedora

Rep Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep Peter Meijer (R-MI) took a secret trip to Afghanistan to see for themselves the situation on the ground. This has gotten the Army, the Administration and the State Department’s knickers in an uproar. I can see why. Given the degree of the failure of the Biden Administration the last thing they want is for congress to have a clear idea of what is going out unfiltered by the administration.


There is a lot of talk about the clash between “moderates’ and “progressives” in the House over the hold up on the infrastructure and budget bills that the Biden Administration has been desperate to get passed.

The clash is not so much between “moderates” and progressives as it is between Democrats who don’t have to worry about being re-elected and Democrats who do and with the Biden Administration debacle in Afghanistan it’s going to be a lot harder to press those Democrats who aren’t anxious to be identified with the administration.


Charlie Baker through his education commissioner has reinstated a Mask mandate for schools at least until October. Charlie has made a few wrong turns on this but has generally been sane, but with an election coming up next year in a state that’s as blue as it comes I guess he’s not willing to make any fights that he doesn’t have to.

It was be nice if we had a Redder and more Trump like governor, but until we focus on educating the public in this state Mr. Baker is likely the best we can do.


The Supreme Court rejected the Biden Administration attempt to block a lower court can not block a lower court ruling re-instating the Trump “Return to Mexico” policy.

This is ironically the same method that was used to force the DACA policy on the Trump administration.

I think that the former ruling was a bad precedent as it makes laws without lawmaking however that’s not going to change until the left starts getting burned by it.


Finally Kamala Harris in Vietnam on the anniversary of John McCain’s death put down a wreath at a war memorial celebrating the shooting down of his airplane.

Reportedly she was warned that this was not a Memorial TO McCain but celebrating him being shot down but she reportedly overruled her advisers who warned her thus. Apparently she wanted to photo op.

I’d object but as she’s owned by people who are America’s enemies and is in fact on their side I’d just as soon she not pretend otherwise.

“Little Practical Impact?” Don’t Be Too Sure About that AP

At Don Surber’s site (which is required daily reading around here) today I saw this piece from the AP about SCOTUS having a case on registering for selective service:

The question of whether it’s unconstitutional to require men but not women to register could be viewed as one with little practical impact. The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. But the registration requirement is one of the few remaining places where federal law treats men and women differently, and women’s groups are among those arguing that allowing it to stand is harmful.

The ACLU’s argument on the case is interesting:

Men who do not register can lose eligibility for student loans and civil service jobs, and failing to register is also a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. But Tabacco Mar says the male-only requirement does more than that.

“It’s also sending a tremendously harmful message that women are less fit than men to serve their country in this particular way and conversely that men are less fit than women to stay home as caregivers in the event of an armed conflict. We think those stereotypes demean both men and women,” she said.

The section of the piece that Surber quotes suggests that if the case is taken there will be little practical impact since it’s been almost 50 years since the last draft but I strongly disagree. I suspect this case will have a lot of impact over the next few years because the Biden administration’s actions to make the Military “woke” is just the type of thing that will convince the people most likely to join our voluntary Armed services to stay away, which is frankly what our enemies are paying them for.

And when the numbers get low enough that’s when you will see the return of the draft.

So ladies and gentlemen I’d pay close attention to this case because I suspect it will have a great impact on your children before you know it.

Democrats Barrett Dilemma: Approaching but not Crossing the Loony Line

With the formal nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and the knowledge that Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump already have the votes to put her on the Supreme Court the Democrats find themselves in one of the worst dilemmas that they need to face.

In a more pragmatic age the Democrats would make a few pro-forma statements ask a few pointed questions and make some fuss in the press and that would be it.

But this is not a normal age, this is an age of lunacy, an age of violent militant leftists and Bernie Bros who might not turn out for candidates who are not suffivently woke and angry.

Even worse for the left these folks are not above violence against their own side as Ted Wheeler can tell you.

If it was up to them the hearings would be the Charge of the Light Brigade with every gun firing and every voice shouting.

This of course is political suicide in an election where you need swing states and most importantly in an election where you have Democrats in the house and candidates for the senate who can’t appear as lunatics right before the voters vote.

So the Democrats need a feint, not so much to spook or fool the “Party of StupidTM (although if the make a mistake dumb enough to derail the nomination they’ll jump at it) but to fool the radical millitant left into thinking they’re ready to charge into the valley of death to stop her.

If it was up to me I’d go with the boycotting of the hearings and having some sort of large rally outside the SCOTUS. That way they can scream and shout and allow their minions to weep and gnash their teeth to their hearts content and throw in some “performance art” without actually doing anything on the record that might cost them votes they will need come election day. The angry/loony left which is their biggest danger tends to be moved by that kind of stuff.

If they are really desperate they can extend this to the actual vote where once the GOP has their 50th vote they can walk out enmasse, again plenty of symbolism without the stupidity.

Either way it’s their problem and I look forward to watching them crash and burn whatever they do

DaTechGuy Off DaRadio Friday 11 AM EST Trump Economy Overtime Edition Riots and Rallies and SCOTUS Oh My!

Friday we have yet another 11 am overtime edition of DaTechGuy off DaRadio No frills livestream podcast thanks to the ravages of the horrible Trump economy that is going so poorly that for the 3rd week in a row I was asked to work on my day off.

Our topic list for Friday’s podcast is:

  1. More Democrat riots
  2. More Trump Rallies
  3. and More Supreme Court hearings

plus a short quip about the difference between worshiping a God and expecting him to be your manservant.

It all starts at 11 AM EST instead of 3 PM because at 3 PM I’ll be on the road to work to get the overtime to help pay for the car part I found.

You can watch the festivities here (last week’s show is the placeholder)

The current show will be inserted about 10 min before we start.

Oh and if you missed my special Justice Ginsberg bonus livestream held after the news of her death broke it’s here

Hope you like it.

Wednesday Thoughts Under the Fedora: Score one for Roberts, No Incentive needed, The Slaves of “Freeattle”, Beating Depression and Unsettled Science

I’ve been pretty hard on Justice Roberts aka “Old Yellowstain” as he has thrown his supposedly conservative principles to the wind on issues like Obamacare so it’s only fair that I complement him when he reminds us that he is capable of being the conservative that he claims to be:


From the beginning, the decision handed down in the Ninth Circuit appeared irrational. They focused on a phrase in the applicable federal law saying that such a “no-bail determination” could apply to someone “when the alien is released.” The Ninth Circuit interpreted that to mean it only applied on the day that they were released and the provision disappeared at midnight. Given the logistics involved in getting ICE over to a jail to pick someone up on the same day – particularly in places where sanctuary city laws prevent police from notifying ICE – that can prove impossible. The Supreme Court’s interpretation is simply common sense.

Jazz Shaw

Jazz may be right that the 9th circuit was irrational but even so that “irrational” decision was one vote away from being upheld. John Roberts might not be the best goaltender for our right but until another liberal leaves the court he’s all we’ve got.


Tom Brady’s is in the last year of his contract and the question comes, Do the Pats sign him for another two years. I looked up Tom Brady’s current contract with the New England Patriots (you can read it here) and I noticed something interesting

Like most players Brady had incentives for certain achievements in the deal. Those incentives are for making top five in five different passing categories but no incentive for getting to or winning a Superbowl.

That’s how good Tom Brady is, there’s no point in giving an incentive for something you think he’s going to do anyways.


As bad as Massachusetts is getting in terms of liberalism it can’t yet compare to Seattle:

As I noted last month, just 100 homeless people in Seattle were responsible for 3,500 criminal cases. This special references that story. It also asked Seattle police officers to comment anonymously on what was happening and those responses are enlightening. One officer told KOMO, “People come here because it’s called Free-attle and they believe if they come here they will get free food, free medical treatment, free mental health treatment, a free tent, free clothes and will be free of prosecution for just about everything; and they’re right.”

Every day I thank my lucky stars I didn’t move to the Northwest as my wife were thinking of doing 30 years ago.


As I was in the checkout line at the grocery store today I noticed a booklet about beating depression. I know a lot of people have issues but I couldn’t help think of my parents who had to live though the actual Great Depression when a fully belly was an iffy proposition and my dad leaving school at 13 to work to help support the family was not abnormal, and of course it was followed by World War 2.

Could you imagine the snowflakes of today dealing with this stuff?


At Drudge there is a story about a giant sunfish washing ashore on a beach in Australia, there was a line in that story that caught my eye.

Sunfish generally eat jellyfish and are found in oceanic waters worldwide. They get their name from their habit of basking in the sun to warm up before they dive hundreds of metres beneath the ocean.
Foster said not a lot was known about the fish, and a new species was discovered only two years ago.

That we’re still discovering new species is pretty cool but the real lesson here is the reminder that we don’t know everything and the science is always settled until it isn’t anymore.