Small Business Group: 'Nothing Moderate' About Merrick Garland

Merrick Garland and Barack Obama / AP
April 12, 2016

A major small business group released its scorecard on Judge Merrick Garland Tuesday, finding that the Supreme Court nominee is not the "down-the middle moderate" supporters have attempted to market him as.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) examined Garland’s nearly two decades of service on the federal bench and found that the judge is typically against business and biased toward regulatory agencies.

Garland ruled in favor of federal agencies 77 percent of the time while he ruled against private sector businesses 90 percent of the time, according the the NFIB scorecard.

Studying hundreds of Garland’s decisions, the report found that businesses lost 95 percent of the cases against labor unions. Labor unions meanwhile have an "unbroken winning streak."

"He is quantifiably biased in favor of regulatory agencies and against private sector businesses," NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said in a statement Tuesday. "His record speaks for itself and elevating him to the Supreme Court would put small business and the economy at great risk."

During his 19 years on the D.C. Circuit Court, Garland ruled in favor of environmental agencies nine out of ten times while he ruled against businesses in every environmental case.

Duggan called Garland’s record on environmental cases "very troubling."

"His instinct is to rule in favor of the agencies except when they’re being challenged by environmental activists for not doing enough," Duggan said. "In 20 years, he has never once agreed with a private business in an environmental case."

Garland also ruled against businesses 98 percent of the time they were in dispute with the National Labor Relations Board, according to the report.

A former NLRB board member told the Free Beacon in March that Garland "pushed the envelope" to advance labor interests, ruling in favor of NLRB on 18 of 22 cases.

"Judge Garland did not exercise his authority to correct the bureaucrats who misapply the law and fulfill the court’s duty to interpret the law," former NLRB official Peter Schaumber said. "Everything I’ve seen suggests he would do the same on the Supreme Court."

President Obama appointed Garland in March to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was known as a stalwart conservative and strict constitutionalist.

The administration has pushed Garland as a centrist moderate in an attempt to corner the GOP-led Senate into confirming the judge.

The NFIB, meanwhile, reported in its research there is "nothing moderate" about Garland’s record.

"In most of the cases in which Garland sided with a private party, he was ruling in favor of a labor union, an environmental group, or an employee seeking some sort of punitive action against another private party," Duggan said. "The bottom line is that private businesses are almost always a loser in Merrick Garland’s court."