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He was on a hunting trip in West Texas and passed away at age 79 due to natural causes. Our condolences to his family and friends at this time.
Photo by nordique
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According to the Constitution, the President is to fill a vacancy whenever one arises on the Supreme Court. The Senate, of course, can reject the President’s choice and there’s plenty of precedent here. But where does it say the Senate has first dibs on whether the President can or cannot even bother to fulfill his obligations? (I guess in Republicanworld, it depends on whether or not the given president at the time was a Republican or a reliable patsy Boll Weevil Benedict Arnold Democrat who’d click his heels whenever Mitch McConnell starts mumbling his directives.
But wait, there’s something very fishy about what I just shared. It doesn’t match up with any signs of respect for the spirit, much less letter, of the laws pertaining to presidential appointments to the Supreme Court. Let’s see, what’s missing here … aha! … a glaring lack of respect for one of the late Justice Scalia’s love of originalism and Federalism. He was a literalist when it came to this stuff. I don’t buy into it, but I respected Scalia’s consistency here.
Where the hell is any sign of respect for Antonin’s respectful love of the Constitution in the way he felt it should be respected, to the letter of the law as written by the Founding Fathers? Would the Founding Fathers after working so hard to craft a document that would stand for all time, while allowing for some flexibility with the crucially helpful addition of the Ten Amendments, stand quietly by while today’s supposed fawning admirers for the Founding Fathers and whatever they crafted, by saying zilch when the Republican candidates are all expecting President Obama (to practically abdicate) his responsibilities because the much beloved late Justice Scalia was called home during the final year of Pres. Obama’s second term … which was elected to serve by earning five million more votes than Mitt Romney?
Antonin Scalia was probably receiving his post-mortem rites from his final confessor called in to administer the last rites, not even cold, or laid into his coffin, and the Republicans were busy telling the President he needed to abdicate his responsibilities … and if that wasn’t a sign of disrespect for Pres. Obama alone, but for the Separation of Powers, what was it it? Okay, I’ll give McConnell the benefit of the doubt by acknowledging some awkward bad manners, which even the most well-intentioned folks sometimes are guilty of in the aftermath of somebody’s passing.
If Justice Scalia’s biggest political supporters (using him for talking points and creating other fodder convenient for their campaigns) really care about honoring his treasured views on the Constitution, they should just shut up and let the President begin the process of finding his successor; election year or not. After all, Lincoln won an election during a war that was seldom far from both the WH and Capitol Hill.