Apparently, when it’s the public release of the papers of a Nixon appointee to the Supreme Court. To wit:
For example, while Judge Garland has not often dealt with social issues, at a 2005 book event, he reportedly described the release of the papers of the late Justice Harry Blackmun — the author of the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision — as a “great gift to the country.”
Phillip Jauregui, the president of the conservative Judicial Action Group, said that remark sent an alarming signal to social conservatives. “The fact that he would use those words to describe Harry Blackmun’s papers is cause for concern,” he said.
Two quick thoughts:
1. Oh, for fuck’s sake.
2. If this is the best that they have on Merrick Garland, they’re clutching. And we probably don’t want the guy anyway.
I’ll leave the latest Court appointment to my more learned colleagues here, but if the wingnuts are resorting to an argument that is best summed up as “don’t release the papers of this justice, but burn ’em instead!” it’s safe to assume that Scott is spot on. Even if Obama appointed the exhumed corpse of William Rehnquist, the Republicans and their pals would paint him as ‘outside the mainstream’ (where they would be, for once, correct).