To the nation’s Conservative movement, he will always be a legendary figure held in the highest regard. To the nation’s Liberals, he may very well have been the bane of their existence. But no matter one’s opinion of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s notorious views, it’s a safe bet that he always managed to provoke a strong and immediate reaction. This was perhaps the Justice’s greatest strength. If you were on the fence about a particular issue, Scalia knew how to make you choose a side.
At the heart of those controversial views was the rigid principle of Textualism. Here are the Justice’s own words on textualism from a 2012 PBS interview…
I have been very much devoted to textualism and to that branch of textualism that’s called originalism. That is, you not only use the text, but you give the text the meaning it had when it was adopted by the Congress, or by the people, if it’s a constitutional provision.
Although I have written a lot of opinions on the subject and spoken on the subject, and even written on the subject, I have never done hit in the depth that this book does.
The book is in two parts. one is — expresses, you know, my philosophy of judging and Bryan’s philosophy of judging. And the second part is a how-to-do-it part. Assuming you are a textualist, how do you go about doing it?
The process is not novel. I didn’t make it up. It shows that it is historically what American judges did, what English judges did. And it’s the other modes of interpretation that are novel and have to justify themselves.
So that was Justice Scalia’s firm belief, and the cornerstone of his judicial legacy. But that legacy, which Conservatives say that they hold near and dear to their hearts, is currently being dishonored by the Senate Majority. Just today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that there would “be no hearings” for any Supreme Court nominee that President Obama would put forward.
The historic move outraged Democrats and injected Supreme Court politics into the center of an already tense battle for the White House.
“I don’t know how many times we need to keep saying this: The Judiciary Committee has unanimously recommended to me that there be no hearing. I’ve said repeatedly and I’m now confident that my conference agrees that this decision ought to be made by the next president, whoever is elected,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
So here’s the problem with the Senate GOP’s attitude. Barack Hussein Obama is still the President of the United States. His term does not end for another 331 days, and a new President will not be sworn in until January 20th, 2017. Given the immense caseload and important decisions that must be made by the court, 1 year is far too much time for the American People to have to wait for another Supreme Court Justice to be confirmed.
Directly from the White House, here’s what the Constitution says about the President’s duties…
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Basically, the President is planning to do his job, while the Republican-controlled Senate (in which each Senator gets paid $174,000 /year, in case you forgot) has publicly stated that it has no intention of doing its job.
If you or I decided one day, that we just didn’t want to work for a minimum of 331 days, what are the chances that we would even HAVE a job on January 20th??
Senator McConnell and his Republican friends are completely out of line this time. If you don’t like the President’s nominee, reject them. That is the Senate’s responsibility. If they don’t want to confirm another Supreme Court Justice during President Obama’s remaining time in office, they don’t have to! But what MUST do is hold hearings, give that person an up or down vote, and be ready to explain to the American People WHY they were not confirmed. This should be a no-brainer for these many experienced Senators. And if they can’t find the time to do their jobs, maybe the American People should find someone else that can.
And as for that $174k a piece that we’re shelling out?? Doesn’t seem very “Conservative” to pay people for NOT working. Texas Leftist wonders what Senator McConnell and the rest of the GOP think on that.
End the #SCOTUSBlock!!