North Texas Daily

Americans deserve a say in the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice

Americans deserve a say in the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice

Americans deserve a say in the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice
July 11
22:33 2018

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from his position, leaving both Republican and Democratic hopefuls drooling over the unoccupied seat. Open spots on the court do not occur frequently, as judges receive lifetime appointments to the position.

This is a midterm election year, meaning the outcome of November could drastically change the outcome of the nomination process.

After former Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed to stave off the inauguration of another court justice until the next president was in office, because it was an election year.

Yes it was a presidential election year, and yes the president selects the nominee. But the President does not take part in the nominee voting process — the senate does, thus making this election cycle arguably more relevant than the 2016 election when it comes to presidential nominees.

But this time around, McConnell quietly gave the current president his two recommendations for the justice.

In 2016, the senate majority leader stressed the importance of the American people having a say in the next Supreme Court Justice — does McConnell no longer care about the will of the citizens? Or is he changing his tune this time because the president plays for his own team?

Regardless of what political party someone belongs to, this is not how it should be.

If someone is fired or quits their office job for a position somewhere else, it would not make sense to let them decide the new managerial committee on their way out.

Part of the problem is the senate can essentially make its own rules regarding the process for choosing Supreme Court nominees. McConnell stopped Democratic senators’ filibuster of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch last April by overturning the senate rule requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster. By lowering that number to 51, McConnell helped Gorsuch clear the final hurdle to the justice seat.

Some Democratic senators have said they wouldn’t vote for any of Trump’s potential Supreme Court picks. McConnell made a point to scoff about this, noting how quickly they were to voice their opposition when a nominee had not even been chosen. However, barely an hour after Scalia’s seat opened up in 2016, McConnell issued a full statement vowing to block any of Obama’s picks.

The nation’s highest court should set a national standard for fairness and accountability. Appointing judges to this court with immense judicial power should not be taken lightly, and the will of the people should be of utmost consideration. If the government isn’t doing right by its citizens, those in power must be removed.

Furthermore, there are 35 seats up for election in the fall, with representatives on both sides of the aisle who face the possibility of being on their way out in November (including Texas’ own Senator Ted Cruz) — be it from their unhappy constituents, retirement, etc.

Why is it justifiable to give them a say in such long-lasting decisions when they are potentially in the final leg of their public service?

The people of this country elect their representatives. We can’t allow spin doctors in the government to find loopholes around representing the wishes of their constituents.

Featured Illustration by Austin Banzon

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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  1. The Real World
    The Real World October 07, 07:38

    Sorry, this country is not governed by mob rule nor are we a democracy. We are a Republic and given that the world is beating down our doors and sneaking into our country by the millions, is some indication that we have the best system in the world.

    Reply to this comment

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