In a graduation speech this weekend, SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland quoted from the Harry Potter series and his “good friend” Hermione Granger.
The Harry Potter series might be thought of as children’s books, but the deep truths that it contains and the morals for our time have made it one where fans of all ages can identify. Some may complain that the normalizing of adults reading “YA” (Young Adult) books has somehow dumbed down our culture should rethink that stance though, when even the smartest men in the room are quoting the series.
Who are these smart men who are so secure in their own intelligence that they will happily out themselves as fans of the series? Try Merrick Garland, the SCOTUS nominee currently cooling his heels while the House and Senate of the United States prove to use they all could have done with a dose of Rowling’s common sense teachings. Garland gave the commencement speech at Illinois’ Niles West High School near Chicago. (He graduated from there as class valedictorian in 1970.)
Though he is of the generation of Potter’s parents, that hasn’t kept him from making the acquaintance and friendship of the Smartest Witch of Her Age.Chief Judge Merrick Garland, a Niles West alumnus, (class of 1970) speaks at Niles West’s 2016 commencement ceremony Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Skokie, Illinois. | Tim Boyle/For the Sun-Times
After he mentioned other forms of public service available outside the law, Garland said, “If you don’t believe me, just ask one of my favorite people: Hermione Granger. In fact, the Minister of Magic once did. ‘Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Ms. Granger?’ he asked. ‘No, I’m not,’ retorted Hermione. ‘I’m hoping to do some good in the world.’ ”
“Now that doesn’t mean that you and your friends have to vanquish Lord Voldemort. Not everyone has the very particular set of skills required to accomplish that task. But as Professor Dumbledore once told Harry Potter: It is our choices that show what we truly are, more than our abilities.
“So make the choice do to some good in the world.”
Check out his full speech here. And if you’re so inclined, contact your representative and berate them for not putting this fine friend of Hermione’s and the Potterverse on the Supreme Court already.