By Christopher Motola
Super Tuesday II Tightens the Race
This past Tuesday (dubbed ‘Super Tuesday II’) was an exciting one for both parties. The Republican Party races saw Donald Trump score major victories in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina. Donald Trump’s victory in Florida over Marco Rubio prompted Rubio’s suspension of his own campaign shortly after the result was projected. In his speech, Rubio emphasized that he “decided to run a campaign that was realistic about all of these challenges. But also one that was optimistic about what lies ahead for our country”. He then went on to lament the polarizing nature of politics today, placing the blame on the conservative movement as a whole as well as the political establishment.
Ohio Governor John Kasich scored his first victory in his home state. In his victory speech, Kasich told supporters: “I want to remind you tonight that I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land”. Kasich’s victory, combined with Rubio’s withdrawal from the race, has cast him in the role of the new establishment favorite, or ‘anti-Trump’ candidate. However, Kasich has the least delegates of any Republican still in the race. If he wants to succeed, he has quite a large deficit to overcome if he wants to win 1,237 delegates. As he said himself at CPAC, “After I win Ohio, I have to win 68% of the delegates. It’s unlikely”. A much more likely scenario that Kasich is hoping for is a brokered convention this summer in Cleveland, where he would have a chance at securing the nomination.
On the Democratic side of the race, Hillary Clinton easily swept victories in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio. In her victory speech, Clinton thanked her voters for their support, telling them that “because of all of you and our supporters across the country, our campaign has earned more votes than any other candidate — Democrat or Republican.” At the time of this writing, the Republican and Democratic races in Missouri are still too close to call. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are each maintaining a lead of less than one percentage point over Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, respectively.
Obama Makes Supreme Court Nomination
Wednesday afternoon, President Obama announced Merrick Garland as his nominee for Supreme Court Justice. Garland is the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. President Obama praised Garrick in his announcement: “ I’ve selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of America’s sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness, and excellence. These qualities, and his long commitment to public service, have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both sides of the aisle. He will ultimately bring that same character to bear on the Supreme Court, an institution in which he is uniquely prepared to serve immediately. Today, I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court”. However, Garland is not facing an easy path to actually becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Garland’s nomination will face strong opposition from Republicans in the Senate who are hoping to delay a nomination until after the presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed that “the Senate will not be acting on this nomination”.