This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 30, 2016:
On Tuesday liberal Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) met with Merrick Garland (see above), President Obama’s nominee to replace deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Afterward Kirk called on other senators to meet with Garland as well, to set the stage for a confirmation vote before the November election.
Reports of the meeting indicated that the topic was the Constitution. Based upon Kirk’s voting record and Garland’s judicial history, it must have been a very short meeting. After Obama’s announcement Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association (NRA) released a statement opposing the nomination:
President Obama has nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners. Obama has already nominated two Supreme Court justices who oppose the right to own firearms and there is absolutely no reason to think he has changed his approach this time.
In fact, a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kirk’s culmulative score in The New American’s “Freedom Index,” which rates U.S. representatives and senators based on the Constitution, is a disappointing 34 percent. This means that he does not have a whole lot of respect and/or understanding for the Republic’s founding document, despite the oath he has taken to uphold the Constitution.
Kirk sports degrees from liberal Cornell University, the London School of Economics, and Georgetown University. As a lawyer he practiced international law before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve in intelligence. He worked for the World Bank and as an aide at the State Department. He entered politics, first as a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois in 2000 and then moving to the Senate, when he won a special election to serve the balance of then-Senator Barack Obama’s term when he won the presidency.
His record opposing the Second Amendment is revealed by his support for background checks for gun purchases and for reinstatement of the 1994 Clinton gun ban when it expired in 2004. Not satisfied when the Senate failed to reinstate the ban, in 2008 Kirk introduced his own bill to reinstate it; however, once again the bill failed to gain traction, dying in committee. As a result, Garland is the only Republican senator to have earned a well-deserved “F” rating from the NRA.
His record also shows him to be less than truthful. In a speech on the House floor in 2003, Kirk stated: “The last time I was in Iraq I was in uniform, flying at 20,000 feet, and the Iraqi Air Defense network was shooting at us.” When called on the carpet for claiming, falsely, that they were being shot at, Kirk described it as a “mistake,” saying that he “incorrectly recalled the incident.” He also blamed them on “inattention” by his campaign staff to the “fine points” of his career.
In 2010 Kirk made a similar correction over a statement he made about being awarded “Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year” in 2002. Again, during a House committee hearing, Kirk said: “I was the Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year”; however, he was forced to recant when the Washington Post exposed the statement. In backtracking, Kirk said “I simply misremembered it wrong … if it gave the impression that my military record is larger than it was, I want to apologize.”
Kirk was forced to admit to another lie, claiming that he had participated in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when in fact he had done no such thing.
That this is a political move (Kirk is being pressed hard by another liberal to take his seat in November) is confirmed by Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision that “completely” rules out any consideration of Garland’s nomination at any time before the next president is inaugurated. Said McConnell:
I can’t imagine that a Republican majority Congress, in a lame duck session, after the American people have spoken, would want to confirm [Garland]. We’re in the process of picking a president, and that new president ought to make this appointment which will affect the Supreme Court maybe for the next quarter of a century.
Unfortunately, 16 of those 54 present Republican members of the Senate agree with Kirk: meetings ought to held with the nominee and a vote to confirm at least attempted. Kirk is a nearly perfect example of exactly the type of RINO (Republican in Name Only) in Congress who needs to be replaced with someone who does understand and support the Constitution and its deliberate and carefully crafted limitations. They need to be replaced before they can do any further damage to the Republic the Constitution created.