There’s undoubtedly going to be plenty of debate over the next few months concerning replacing the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. While the Constitution says that it’s a sitting president’s responsibility to nominate someone to fill his vacancy, Republicans are comically trying to argue that a president in his last year of office shouldn’t be allowed to replace a Justice.
Well, President Obama has found himself with an unlikely ally in this “fight,” former Attorney General under George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales. During an interview Monday morning, Gonzales told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that it’s the president’s job to fill the vacancy and Senate Republicans should do their job by not trying to delay doing so for almost a year.
“I know there’s a big debate going on right now about whether or not Obama should nominate someone,” Gonzales said. “From my perspective, having worked at the White House and the Department of Justice, there’s just no question in my mind that as president of the United States, you have an obligation to fill a vacancy.”
“I suspect President Obama is going to do his job,” he continued. “And after he does his job and nominating a hopefully qualified individual, the Senate will do its job eventually on its own calendar.”
“The bottom line from my perspective is the president has to do his job in nominating a qualified individual and then the Senate does it’s job in assessing whether or not this person is qualified for a lifetime appointment on the court based upon experience, based upon ideology and based upon integrity,” Gonzales continued to reiterate.
This just goes to show you how obstructive the Republican party has become. We’re looking at a time where Republicans from just one administration ago seem like moderate Democrats more so than they do modern day conservatives.
Though what’s ironic about all of this is that Republicans are “rejecting” allowing President Obama to do the job that’s outlined for him to do via the Constitution before they even know who he would nominate. It goes to show you that this isn’t about “integrity” or doing their job as the Constitution says they should do – it’s 100 percent about playing partisan politics.
As I’ve said repeatedly over the last few days, Scalia’s death has put on the forefront just how important this next election is. With his spot potentially up for grabs, as well as potentially three more spots opening up over the next five years, the balance of power in the Supreme Court for the next 20-30 years is literally on the line in November. That means women’s rights, gay rights, health care, climate change and voting rights are all also on the line.
This November everyone on the left, and even those in the center who don’t want to see radical right-wing ideologies seize control of this country, must come together to make damn sure Republicans don’t take back the White House. There’s just too much at stake for us to allow that to happen.
Watch Gonzales’s comments below via CNN:
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