North Texas Daily

Senate evades common ground in picking Scalia’s replacement

Senate evades common ground in picking Scalia’s replacement

February 25
00:38 2016

The Editorial Board

Article II Section II of the United States Constitution gives the President the power to nominate a Supreme Court justice should a seat become vacant. While it also describes the power of Congress to vet these appointments as necessary, it does not – at any point – say he or she must wait to nominate should the end of their term loom.

This seems to be a point of debate following the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who was appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. In the short time since Scalia’s passing, there has been no shortage of speculation regarding who his replacement will be and contentions between the two parties remain fierce.

It is understandable that Republicans in Congress would have their reservations about who President Obama, a Democrat, would nominate for the lifetime appointment at the highest court in our nation. But the level of schoolyard bullying taking place is completely uncalled for.

Telling, not asking, but telling, the President that he should forego even recommending a replacement is beyond ridiculous, and officially marks the end of moderate politics as we know it.

One potential candidate for the seat who Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell flat-out refused: Governor of Nevada and fellow Republican Brian Sandoval. Understand that President Obama is under no legal obligation to nominate someone from his own party, or even someone who currently holds office, and though he has not yet made any official nominations, even the rumor is enough to start a conversation on a potential candidate.

That a Republican is even being considered speaks volumes of Obama’s willingness to negotiate with Congress on this appointment and beyond. That those in Congress are stubborn enough to refuse someone from their own party says even more about their commitment to obstructionism and stopping the president at the gate.

At what point did we refuse to work together? Ronald Reagan, the poster boy for modern day conservatism, was more than willing to negotiate with his democratic counterparts on a variety of issues. He passed legislation that strayed from his conservative views, not because he was weak and folded from the pressure of the legislative branch, but because he saw beyond his own seat in the Oval Office and realized true progress comes through compromise.

The President said he believes the Senate will “evolve” on the situation once the public realizes the qualifications of his nominee, and while the Senate does have the right not to appoint the president’s choice for associate justice under the guise of the same section of Article II, it does beg the question as to why their commitments are so skewed.

The purpose of our legislative branch is to work together and find common ground in order to best serve the interests of U.S. citizens. It’s unclear why this has become so difficult, but frustrated citizens should take heed in the potential that comes from this election, and know that their votes truly do count in choosing those who represents them.

As the saying (sort of) goes: “Remember, remember, this November.”

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1 Comment

  1. Andy
    Andy February 25, 14:04

    You mean like how President Obama evaded Scalia’s funeral to read through a thick binder of his possible replacements? Keep it classy, North Texas.

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