The American people‎ should have a voice


Republicans Vow to Block Obama Replacing Scalia on High Court

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to block President Barack Obama in his remaining months in office from replacing Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a direct challenge to the White House that is certain to roil the 2016 presidential campaign.

“The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement shortly after Scalia’s death was made public. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

That’s a ludicrous thing to say. We don’t have a direct voice, we have the indirect voice of voting for a presidential candidate. We did that, and there is a duly elected president. There’s no rule that says once the endless presidential campaign has officially begun we have to wait until after the election. On the contrary, court vacancies are supposed to be filled reasonably promptly.

Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, quickly countered with a warning against trying to run out the clock on Obama’s presidency by holding up a replacement for Scalia, who was found dead Saturday at a resort in West Texas. He urged Obama to send a nomination to the Senate “right away.”

“It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat,” Reid said. “Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”

Nothing new there then.

Democrats have sought to use the potential for court vacancies as an election-year issue to encourage voter turnout, saying the next president likely will replace three justices on the aging court. They have warned that a Republican president could tip the court more heavily against women’s reproductive rights and campaign finance reforms they favor and in support of corporations.

Not so much could as inevitably will.

Within minutes of the reports of Scalia’s death, conservatives began mobilizing to argue that President Barack Obama should not be allowed to appoint a successor.

“It would be wise for everybody to wait until the next president is chosen,” Hatch said Saturday on Fox News. “Seeing the type of judges that the president has appointed, there aren’t many Republicans who are going to differ with Majority Leader McConnell.”

If you know what’s good for you.

11 Responses to “The American people‎ should have a voice”