With the untimely death of a Antonin Scalia, the US Supreme Court loses a key voice on the court. He has been a strident voice in thinking more about the written words, especially when it relates to Constitutional matters. He has given rise to a valued term which has been used to describe him – an originalist.
The sad irony is he would likely be perturbed by those who are advocating not following the Constitution to replace him. These folks have said the President should not offer a replacement letting his successor pick Scalia’s replacement. But, that would mean SCOTUS would be one less justice for the rest of this term and much of the next, which begins in October. Starting out a new term, where the justices select the cases to be heard is not prudent and is unfair to the process.
To me, not following process makes it political. The process gives the President the right and duty to recommend a replacement. He should do his job. Then, it will be left to the Senate to do its job. I will be urging my state’s Senators to do their job and review the President’s recommendation. There have been fourteen justices confirmed in the final year of a President’s term, that last being one of our sitting judges, Anthony Kennedy.
In my view, when you do not do what you are obligated to do makes any action fraught with politics. I want a solid candidate nominated and from what I read there are several excellent candidates. When you don’t follow the process, the deviation makes it more political than it already is.
As for the politics of waiting, the leader of the Senate may want to think that through. If Donald Trump is the nominee, his party may risk losing the White House and Senate majority. His best bet to influence the decision may be right after the primaries.
Yet, it is grossly unfair to those who have spent time, energy and money in legal fees to present a case in front of SCOTUS. To end in a split verdict wastes many people’s time and money. So, let’s follow the process. The President will nominate someone he thinks will pass muster and the Senate should vet that person just as before. Do your job.