Before I get into my dissertation. Let me state my best wishes to the family of Justice Antonin Scalia.
With the passing of Justice Scalia the political world will no doubt be put into a tailspin. Should Obama nominate a new Justice? Will the Senate confirm them? Unfortunately, I think this will get ugly. Which is pathetic.
First of all, yes, President Obama should seek to nominate someone as soon as possible. Believe me, while I am not necessarily a critic, I certainly am not in the cheering section for President Obama. But whether I or anyone else is a fan of the politics, the simple fact is, it’s his job. Right there in the US Constitution. “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court” Read it yourself if you don’t believe me. Article II Section 2 Ironically, as much of an origianlist as Scalia was and as clear as this clause is, I think he would be one of the strongest supporters of President Obama nominating a new Justice.
Now who President Obama chooses as the nominee will say a lot about his motives. Does he have the best interest of the country at heart? If so, he will look to find someone that can be confirmed with relative ease. Even if that means compromise. Is he looking for a fight to truly make this an election issue? If this is the case, we will see someone that is a clear ideological appointment.
Lastly, the Senate has these same questions. Will they choose to make a fight of someone that is a compromise type candidate? Or will they do what needs to be done and get a Justice confirmed?
My fear is that all the worst will happen. President Obama will dig in his heels, for the opportunity to “make” the court into his image of what it should be. And the Senate Republicans will do everything in their power to stop him from making any appointment.