As I’ve already written, when it comes to replacing Antonin Scalia’s spot on the Supreme Court, Republicans have put themselves in a no-win situation. Either they’re going to make themselves look like highly unconstitutional obstructionists (and hypocrites) by trying to delay replacing Scalia for nearly a year – risking triggering a huge liberal voter turnout in 2016 – or they’re going to tick off most of their entire voting base by allowing President Obama to pick Scalia’s replacement.
Not only that, but Republicans have some slight leverage to at least try to steer President Obama toward a more moderate, “centrist” type of justice considering it’s his last year in office. If either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders become our next president, and especially if Democrats retake the Senate, they’ll be able to choose a much more liberal justice.
Though the hypocrisy behind all of this is what I find so appalling. Not only did Justice Anthony Kennedy take his spot on the Supreme Court during Ronald Reagan’s final year in office, but current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell supported the nomination. So it’s absolutely comical that McConnell would now try to argue that a president, in their last year of office, shouldn’t have the right to replace someone on the Supreme Court.
Besides, the United States Constitution says that it’s President Obama’s right and duty to pick who replaces Scalia.
That’s a point Sen. Elizabeth Warren emphasized when she absolutely destroyed McConnell and the Republican party for vowing to prevent President Obama from replacing Scalia.
“Senator McConnell is right that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice. In fact, they did — when President Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes,” Warren wrote on Facebook. “Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. I can’t find a clause that says ‘…except when there’s a year left in the term of a Democratic President.'”
“Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did. Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that — empty talk,” she continued.
And she’s absolutely right.
This isn’t about the Constitution, or even doing what’s right – it’s about petty, partisan politics. It’s about Senate Republicans vowing not to do their jobs. Even though by doing so they’re following no other precedent that’s been set in American history. Because as I pointed out, Kennedy became a justice during Reagan’s final year with the support of Mitch McConnell.
Though as I’ve said for the last few days, this issue must be something we keep at the forefront of the news until either President Obama is allowed to choose Scalia’s replacement, or Democrats win the White House in November. Because if there’s one glaring example as to why everyone on the left must rise up to make damn sure a Republican doesn’t become our next president, this is it.