On Levin TV Wednesday, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin explained that there are not conservative or rightwing justices on the Supreme Court, but instead, a justice is either a constitutional originalists or, like Obama’s recent nominee Merrick Garland, “not an originalist.”
“It’s not a matter of the outcome,” stated Mark Levin. “It’s how you approach the interpretation of the Constitution, how you decide to look at your role as a justice. The problem for Merrick Garland is, he’s not an originalist.”
Below is a transcript of Levin’s comments on President Barack Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland:
“You cannot be a liberal activist, you cannot be a judicial activist, and believe in fidelity to the Constitution.
“I want to make this clear. We hear these terms about conservative or rightwing justices or judges. There is no such thing. You are either an originalist, who attempts to discern what the framers meant in the Constitution, or you’re not.
“It’s not a political thing. It’s not a leftwing, rightwing thing. You’re either an originalist, or you’re an activist. An activist – somebody who seeks to impose their personal policy preferences on the American people, on the parties in front of the court by perverting constitutional provisions, by pretending that the Constitution compels the result.
“An originalist is somebody who earnestly sits there and tries to figure out what the words mean in the Constitution as originally intended by those who wrote it, and if it’s not that clear, you look at the circumstances of the words and the provisions in the Constitution at the time. And sometimes you take a pass. We can’t determine it. Maybe this court shouldn’t make this decision. Maybe it shouldn’t be before us at all. So you show judicial restraint.
“Even libertarians on the left, even George Will, the columnist, writes from time to time: I support judicial activism. And what he means by that, and it’s a very inarticulate phrase, what he means by that is judges and justices should look at these cases and should be active in the sense that they apply it to the Constitution. That’s not the way to look at this.
“It’s originalism, which is the only faithful way to interpret the Constitution, or something else.
“And by the way, originalists don’t always agree. Scalia and Thomas didn’t always agree. Alito and Thomas don’t always agree. Rehnquist and Scalia didn’t always agree.
“It’s not a matter of the outcome. It’s how you approach the interpretation of the Constitution, how you decide to look at your role as a justice. The problem for Merrick Garland is, he’s not an originalist.
“He was appointed originally by Bill Clinton. He’s come to the attention of Barack Obama more than once. Obama thought about nominating him before.
“Because when it comes to the Second Amendment in particular, he’s not an originalist. He’s a liberal activist, and the same can be said on environmental laws and labor laws.
“So, from my perspective, not only shouldn’t there be a hearing as a matter of principle. He shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court as a matter of fact.”