We note the passing today of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, champion of all things conservative and a self-proclaimed “strict constructionist” when it came to interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
O.K. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk politics. Too soon, you say? Hold your horses. At this writing, it is merely a matter of hours since his death and Scalia’s corpulent corpse isn’t even cold yet.
Yet at this writing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already making statements that the Senate should prevent President Obama from appointing Scalia’s successor and that the nomination and confirmation of a new justice should wait until after the new president is in office, more than 11 months from now.
At this writing, Dr. Ben Carson, perhaps in some last-ditch effort to regain what he believed to be relevance, has said he doesn’t think a new justice should be sworn in until the next administration:
“It might perhaps be good to wait until we have a new president and someone who is going to put in the requisite amount of research into finding a strict constitutionalist.”
At this writing, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa has tossed his two cents in:
“… it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice.”
At this writing, Senator Lindsay Graham has been slightly softer in his views, but every bit as crazy. He’s stated that there should be consensus in the Senate around the nominee but then suggested arch-conservative Orrin Hatch.
If there is any Democratic voter who says that they just won’t vote in November if their candidate isn’t the nominee, let today’s events be a warning. If you think the hyperpartisanship of today’s politics is bad, let your mind wander to just what it would look like with a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Congress, with nominations of multiple Supreme Court justices as bad or worse than Scalia. Enjoy your worst nightmare.