Yesterday, President Barack Obama wrote an op-ed piece on Scotusblog.com addressing the controversy surrounding his appointing the replacement to the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat.
Members of the GOP have made it clear they will not approve anyone the President recommends in hopes the party’s candidate will be elected come November and they can have a republican in the position.
In his article, titled “A Responsibility I Take Seriously,” Obama detailed exactly what he was looking for in a nominee.
“A sterling record. A deep respect for the judiciary role. An understanding of the way the world really works,” he wrote. “That is what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court.”
He heavily emphasized the fact that it is his responsibility, as our elected leader, to appoint a nominee. In fact, appointing nominees is one of the few Constitutional duties the president actually has.
By stalling, and thus ignoring his nomination, the GOP is essentially forcing the President to fail at his job and will ultimately end up hurting the general public.
This stalling tactic could be detrimental to the Court. By leaving one seat empty, there is an even balance of justices and this will undoubtedly lead to numerous ties on issues with no one to break them.
Rest assured, without a replacement, nothing will be accomplished from here on out in the Supreme Court.
Obama recognizes this very real threat and thus implored the associate justices to let him do his job.
“As Senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person I appoint, I hope they’ll move quickly to debate and then confirm this nominee so the Court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.”
Unfortunately, the Republican Senators have made it clear they will not under any circumstances allow the President’s nomination to go through. Party majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he and several other senators would not even meet the potential nominee.
This is not the first time Senators have recommended ignoring a nomination. In 1992, then-Sen. Joe Biden addressed the possibility of an opening arising in the Court under President George H.W. Bush.
“It is my view that if the President … presses an election-year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over,” said Biden.
This is not an issue of partisanship, but rather ensuring the Court continues to do what is best for the general public.
No case brought before the court is miniscule. Each and every decision made impacts the way law is interpreted in this country and thus plays a direct role in the lives of the American people.
The fact that Obama is in his final months of leadership does not mean the Court can simply go without a judge. Regardless of whether the associate justices are Republicans or Democrats, fans of Obama or his enemies, they need to step up and act like adults.
Seriously review the upcoming nomination. If there is a justifiable reason why a candidate should not be granted the seat, veto him or her. However, if the only complaint is that he or she was nominated by our President, then he or she should be appointed so the Court can quickly continue to go about its duties.
Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications.