March 29, 2016

Sen. Michael Bennet Caught On Camera Calling Garland “Wrongheaded”

Cracks in Democrats’ support for President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Merrick Garland, appear to be forming. This morning, CNN reported that footage recorded by an America Rising tracker showed Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) blasting Garland’s ruling on a case related to the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling:

The meeting comes as Garland faces criticism from one Democratic senator, who is also running for re-election in a swing state, over a ruling in a campaign finance case that led to the rise of super PACs. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado said Garland’s views in the case were “wrongheaded.”

Bennet’s criticism of Garland is just the latest example that Democrats are far from unified when it comes to Obama’s judicial strategy – especially those facing pressure from the left in states where Bernie Sanders has a strong following.

Bennet is a case in point. He made his critique of Garland during a speech to the University of Denver law school last week, as students in the audience pressured him to switch his support from Hillary Clinton to Sanders, who won the Colorado caucuses in a landslide. While Bennet continued to support Clinton, he praised Sanders and made a clear attempt to distance himself from Obama with his criticism of Garland. Sanders has said he would ask Obama to withdraw Garland if elected president.

With Sanders picking up another string of victories this week and increasingly competitive in the upcoming Wisconsin and New York primaries, it’s unlikely Sen. Bennet will be the last embattled Democrat to edge away from a lame duck President’s SCOTUS fight to avoid inflaming their base.