Perhaps the greatest jurist ever to serve on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, passed away yesterday. An ardent and unapologetic originalist, he was despised by many on the left for his common sense approach to constitutional interpretation. His textualist approach was far too simple for many, especially those who seek to find meanings and “rights” within its words that heretofore did not exist. His faithfulness to the original meaning of the Constitution is commendable and somewhat unique in the history of the Court.
In less than 24-hours after his passing, Democrats and the liberal media were calling on the president to nominate his replacement. Do they believe the Court will cease to function in his absence? Hardly. Most expect the president to nominate a champion of the liberal agenda, one who will immediately effort to reverse the work of Justice Scalia. For them, the ideal jurist is one who believes that the Constitution provides a right for a woman to obtain an abortion on demand. That it defines marriage not only as a sacred union between one man and one woman but also that necessarily includes persons of the same sex. That the Second Amendment is not an individual right to keep and bear arms but a collective right in the context of service in the state militia, and that there exists a living Constitution that necessarily evolves over time.
The thought that this president could replace Justice Scalia with his polar opposite is anathema to Republicans and conservatives alike. Now the only thing standing in his way is the Senate and Mitch McConnell. McConnell’s record of yielding to the will of this president is well known, although he has said that the Senate will not consider any nominee put forth during the remainder of Obama’s term in office.
Late in the second term of George W. Bush, Chuck Schumer called on the Senate to block all of his nominees to the Supreme Court. Today, however, he is crying foul. The trouble is that the Republican leadership has an affinity for not using the same tactics as the Democrats. In this case there is no other alternative. If the balance of power on the Court flips, the Constitution itself would be in jeopardy along with the republic it created.
If the Senate blocks any nominee put forth by the President, he will then effort to make a recess appointment. It is crucial for the Senate to avoid any recess or adjournment of more than 10 days until after the next president is sworn in next January.
Meantime we must ensure that the next president is not Clinton or Sanders or even Trump.