Senate Republicans will refuse Obama’s nomination for the vacant post.
The stars and stripes were lowered down to half staff as the chief justice confirmed the death of Antonin Scalia. Political leaders from both the Republican and Democratic parties dug in for the ferocious battle that will be fought for nominating his replacement.
President Obama said in a statement that Antonin Scalia possessed a ‘brilliant legal mind’ and that ‘he was one of the towering legal figures of our time’. Obama further added that Scalia was a consequential judge and thinker.
However, in a short statement released on Saturday, the incumbent president responded to the threats by Republican Party members that they will block the demised judge’s replacement, by warning that such a move will undermine a great cornerstone of American democracy.
The president reiterated his duty to nominate a successor in the due course of time. Obama, who is in the final year of his presidency, said that he has ample time to fulfill this responsibility.
But before Obama had released his statement, the senior majority leader, Mitch McConnell said that the replacement should be nominated by the next president. The court is currently evenly balanced between four conservative and liberal justices.
The appointment of the next Supreme Court justice is pivotal since there are wide ranging issues on the court’s agenda from climate change to reforms in immigration laws. While in the lower courts, issues like gun control and abortion are being battled over.
The nomination presented by put forwards by the president needs to be passed with at least 60 of 100 members of the senate. The senate is currently benign controlled by the Republicans.
The statement from McConnell was followed by unforgiving outburst from the communications director for Mike Lee who is a Tea Party supported member of the Senate Judiciary committee.
The outburst was posted on a social media network and stated that there are less than zero chances of Obama appointing a replacement of Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas posted on social media that Justice Scalia was a hero of America and the nation owe it to him to endure that his replacement is appointed by the next president.
While on the other hand, the Democratic senator, Patrick Leahy of Vermont issued a rebuke. He said that he was saddened by Scalia’s demise though he did not always agree with his legal opinions. He also said that he hoped his death will not be used to pressure the president or the Senate not to perform their constitutional duties.
Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton said that the Republicans in the Senate, who are calling for Scalia’s seat to remain vacant, want to dishonor the constitution of America. The
Senate has a responsibility that cannot be abdicated for the sake of politics.While the partisan politicians were taking on a somber tone, the same was not reflected in general public opinion.
Journalist Glenn Green, a critic of the dead justice, summed up the mood among his peers in the following words: “Don’t even try to enforce the inapplicable don’t-speak-ill-of-the-dead ‘rule’ for the highly polarizing, deeply consequential Antonin Scalia.”