Judicial Scorecard: Judge Merrick Garland

In the past 20 years the number of federal regulations has increased dramatically. Between 1993 and 2003 the federal register grew from 4,369 pages to more than 49,000. By 2012 the number of pages exceeded 81,000. Many more rules have been approved since, and the administration is currently rushing to finalize others.

The dizzying proliferation of new rules has brought businesses and regulators into more frequent legal disputes. The most consequential cases are those in which the very legality of federal action is in question. Here the Supreme Court is the final arbiter and its decisions affect not just the immediate parties but the entire country. It is therefore crucially important to small businesses, which form the basis of the US economy, that the next Supreme Court justice be strictly unbiased. Regrettably, we find in Judge Merrick Garland’s record an unmistakable preference for federal agencies.

Indeed, over the course of decades the Judge has ruled against private parties and especially private businesses with striking regularity. He sided with the government in nearly 80 percent of the cases involving federal regulatory agencies. In cases involving private businesses, he ruled against them 90 percent of the time.

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