Sunday, February 14, 2016
If you are a conservative, you have to mourn the death of Antonin Scalia, who died in his sleep Saturday morning near Marfa, Texas. For us, Scalia was the star of the Supreme Court. By all accounts, he was also one hell of a guy with his sharp wit and even sharper mind. Even his ideological opposites on the court, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, were close to him.
And now, so sooner than he is gone, we are all talking about the looming political fight that will almost immediately follow. The Republicans in the Senate are insisting that President Obama allow for the next president to name Scalia's successor. Obama says he will name a successor, and the Democrats are prepared to fight to have that person confirmed. The bent of the Supreme Court literally hangs in the balance.
I am normally a believer in the "up or down" vote principle, but the stakes here are simply too high. For the past 80 years, it has been customary that a lame duck president in his final year would allow a nominee to be named by the next president. Obama won't. In this case, with the Republicans in control of the Senate, it is high time for them to play by the same rules as the Dems and fight this coming nomination tooth and nail at every legal means at their disposal. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has already expressed his wish that Obama hold off on naming a replacement, which Obama will almost certainly ignore. Now let's see if McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate have finally grown a pair. If, on the other hand, they once again cave in to the minority, they will have proved once and for all that they don't deserve our votes. (Problem is-who does?)
Rest in peace, Mr. Scalia. You served your country well.