John Cassidy at the New Yorker:

Around 4:30 P.M. Eastern time on Saturday, the San Antonio Express-News broke the news of the death of Antonin Scalia, the conservative Supreme Court Justice. Within a few hours, the Republican Party had placed itself on a trajectory that, if isn’t reversed, could throw the Presidential election to the Democrats.

In apparent contravention of precedent and the U.S. Constitution, the leader of the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, said that President Obama shouldn’t be allowed to name a replacement for Scalia. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” McConnell said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

It’s a little reminiscent of the open-air theft of Malheur, in a way – the flagrant contempt for the rule of law. But it’s also different, because Mitch McConnell isn’t a Nevada rancher with a stupid grudge, he’s a United States Senator. You’d think and hope he would agree with the basic rules and laws that apply to his job – his job which is making the laws for the rest of us.

He doesn’t get to refuse to do a part of his job. This isn’t Saturday at home with the kids, this is the god damn government.


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