Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland has a bad track record when it comes to small biz regulation.
The fight to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacancy on the nation’s highest court is alive and well.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attributed his staunch opposition to Garland to the poor marks the judge has received from organizations such as NFIB and the NRA.
He also said he believes the next president should select a replacement. “The American people need to decide who is going to make this decision—not this lame duck president out the door,” McConnell said on Fox News Sunday.
Small business advocates have been voicing their concerns that Garland has a history of siding with regulatory agencies instead of business owners on matters that have hurt small business.
“With Judge Garland on the Supreme Court, the EPA and other regulators would have a freer hand to impose even more costs on small business,” NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
Duggan cites Garland’s judicial record as proof that the Supreme Court nominee is pro-labor and pro-regulation. Throughout his career, Garland has ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board—a government agency that regulates labor practices—16 times, demonstrating his anti-business tendencies, according to Duggan.
“The Stake Are Far Too High”
This is the first time in its 73-year history that NFIB has vetted or taken a stance on a Supreme Court nominee.
“The stakes are far too high for small businesses to watch this process from the sidelines,” Duggan wrote in a statement.
With more government regulation in business due to the Affordable Care Act, owners are desperate to keep a judge out of the Supreme Court who would further enhance government’s power in the private sector, Duggan said.
During his tenure as judge, Garland’s rulings in cases such as NAHB v. EPA and Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton give small business owners ample reason to worry about his judicial record.
The latter case even set a precedent for the government’s defense of the ACA, which many believe is one of the most harmful pieces of legislation to small businesses today, Duggan wrote.
For now, Senate opposition to Garland is unyielding, and there is no plan for a confirmation hearing.
When asked during a CNN interview whether McConnell is ruling out Garland for confirmation indefinitely—even after the election—he replied with a simple “Yes.”