Much like the power Justice Antonin Scalia had during his life, the aftershock of his death will be immense.
Contrary to how the Framers intended the government to work, our stagnant, uncooperative Republican-controlled Senate will likely do everything in its power to delay or block any attempts by the Obama administration to fill Scalia’s now empty seat.
This will be done to buy time until President Obama has left office, banking on the possibility the next commander in chief will be conservative and nominate at best another Scalia, or at worst another Justice Clarence Thomas, to the court.
It is no secret the Supreme Court, a supposedly neutral body, is riddled with bias. Scalia was, after all, one of the stronger conservative voices on the court; prior to his death the bench leaned further right with five conservative and four liberal justices.
The Republicans want to ensure the five-to-four conservative ratio is not lost, and will continue the horseplay just as they did with many of the other nominations Obama has made during his presidency.
The impending political hullabaloo over this is an outrage. Under Article 2 Section 2 of the Constitution, President Obama has not just the right, but the responsibility to nominate a new associate justice.
There should not be any room for politics when it comes to the Supreme Court.
Yes, the individual justices are going to have their own interpretations of the Constitution, and interpretations differ between conservatives and liberals. This, however, does not mean the Senate has a pass to play its petty partisanship games in the judicial system.
The court needs to have Scalia’s seat filled, and filled soon. There are a slew of cases SCOTUS has agreed to hear that cannot afford to be delayed any longer. One of these is abortion case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, originally scheduled for March 2, according to the Supreme Court’s website.
Whole Woman’s Health and the other cases scheduled for the remainder of the year cannot wait until after the election.
In addition, if Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton becomes the next president, the childish and inexcusable behavior of the Republican Party will only have been done in vain.
Just because the GOP is willing to wait around until next January to do something about this doesn’t mean the rest of the country has to put up with it as well.