Sunday, February 14, 2016

Antonin Scalia

Image result for antonin scalia

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.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

For the past 80 years, "lame duck" has been a term that referred to a president who has LOST AN ELECTION and has not yet left office. E.g. Jimmy Carter between Nov 8, 1980 and Jan 20, 1981. Only in the recent era of careless journalists who don't bother to fact check their work as "lame duck" expanded to the opportunistic meaning Gary offers here.

The notion that it has been traditional not to make judicial appointments in the last full year of a presidential term, Gary has made up out of whole cloth. There is no such pattern or tradition, nor should there be one.

I have written to both my Republican senator and my Democratic senator, and told them that I expect them both to stop the unseemly childish squabbling over filling the Supreme Court seat, and get to work. I expect the same of the White House of course.

Obviously, President Obama's short list will be people that could never be confirmed by a majority of those in the senate. Likewise, those Mitch McConnell would dearly love to put on a fast-track for nomination will never be nominated by President Obama. Ergo, McConnell needs to put together a list of people he would move confirmation for, who he thinks might be acceptable to the president, and vice versa. Then the names which appear on both lists will be the ones from whom the president picks his nomination.

Enough of this extra-constitutional foolishness of trying to stack the court.

Squid said...

Suddenly, Obama has a Constitutional obligation to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. He claims this is his Constitutional duty as President. Obama really sees this as his opportunity to stack the Supreme Court in favor of decisions that would support liberal interests (as Siarlys states: "stack the court).
Too bad Obama has not followed Constitutional law, only to serve his un-Constitutional interests to "transform America". Here are some examples of his un-Constitutional moves, which the Republican controlled House and Senate allows.

Examples include:
suspending implementation of the Obamacare
employer mandate, abdicating the Administration’s
duty to defend the law in court.

Implementing the DREAM

And, unconstitutional
“recess” appointments.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Squid, have you EVER in your life read the Constitution of the United States of America?

(Note: this really isn't the first Supreme Court vacancy during Barack Obama's terms as President of the United States. And you know what he did the last time? He nominated someone to fill the vacancy.)