First, I’m sorry to hear of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. I’d be sorry to hear of any man’s death, but I actually kind of liked the much-criticized jurist, most of the time.
Now, to the instantaneous controversy that is always there ready to erupt and wash away any normal, human feelings we might have at such a moment…
I’ll be brief:
- There is a vacancy on the court — right now, not next year.
- It is the duty of the president of the United States to nominate someone to fill such a vacancy (and the Senate’s duty to consider that nomination, and vote on it).
- Barack Obama is the president of the United States. And he will be for much longer than it ought to take to nominate and confirm a suitable justice.
There’s really nothing else to say. The president has announced his intention to do his duty. As he should.
No, I’m not crazy about having another justice who thinks Roe v. Wade shouldn’t be touched or amended. But I’m also opposed to nominating and confirming justices based on whether I somehow sense that they agree with me on this or that issue. I’m opposed to that for the same reason I’m opposed to Roe: I believe in a government of laws and not of men (and Roe flies in the face of that by allowing a single, highly interested individual to make a unilateral, irreversible decision to take human life without due process).
Republicans who don’t like the fact that Barack Obama is president should get busy electing one of their own. (Step One: Figure out how to deal with your Trump problem.)
But on the Scalia vacancy, Mr. Obama is president. Consider and vote on his nominee promptly.