Friday, February 26, 2016

Supreme Court nominee

A lot of energy has been expended jawing about filling the vacancy in the Supreme Court left by the death of Antonin Scalia (some of which began when his body was barely turning cold). The chief issue is whether a lame duck president should nominate a replacement (both theoretically and really). I heard someone on the radio today complain because the people don't get to choose the nominee (i.e., by the election process). Fact is, we do get to choose in the way the Constitution specifies -- we choose the President and Senate who choose the Supreme Justice. Some have used the rhetoric "let the people decide" in referring to letting the next elected president nominate a justice. The other side complains that it is the current president's right to nominate a justice. Both are right. The currently seated president has the constitutional right to set forth his candidate. But the Senate also has the constitutional right to "advise and consent" -- which included the right to not consent. 

I personally believe is it wise to wait. But whichever side we come down on, it is US who elected (or will elect) the officials who will nominate and confirm the next Supreme Court justice. Like it or not, we are part of the process.

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