Happy Presidents’ Day! Today is another one of those days in which there are several major stories out there that I want to comment about – so it’s another “Political Odds & Ends” day!
Today’s topics include:
- Antonin Scalia & the Politics
- Republican Presidential Debate
- A Conservative Blog
Associate Justice at the U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia died over the weekend. He was 79. He was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan way back in 1986. The U.S. Senate confirmed him with a vote of 98–0 on September 17, 1986.
I loved reading Scalia’s opinions and hearing him speak about the issues.
Before Scalia’s body was even cold, the politics of replacing him took over.
Replacing Scalia may be the epic battle that divides the left and right even more (if that is possible).
All President Barack Obama needs to do is nominate someone and if the Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t act on his nomination, they will look bad to the voters.
The Presidential term is four years, so Obama is very much within his right to nominate someone at the three year, one month mark of his second term. The Senate Republicans are very much within their right to not confirm Obama’s nomination.
The Senate Republicans will be taking the bigger risk if they don’t take a vote on Scalia’s replacement before next year.
I believe Obama should nominate someone and let the spineless Republican leader Mitch McConnell delay it. It will be over a year before the position is filled if they wait for a new President and new congress to get to it. Meanwhile, we could see several 4-4 opinions coming from the U.S. Supreme Court.
It could all backfire on the Republicans. They could lose the majority in the senate in and the Democrats could push through a more liberal person. The Obama Administration could nominate a minority for justice and if the Republicans block a vote, it could hurt them in the November election.
Scalia was confirmed in the senate with a vote of 98-0 back in 1986. That was back when the senate actually worked a little better. Even in 1993, the senate confirmed the very liberal Ruth Bader Ginsberg 96-3.
Some Republicans like U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both who want to be President, and Montana’s junior U.S. Senator, Steve Daines, say we don’t confirm Supreme Court Justices in an election year.
The Associated Press reported that Cruz said, “We have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year.” The AP reported that Rubio said, “It has been over 80 years since a lame-duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice.”
Daines also told the Great Falls Tribune that a long-standing practice of not confirming new Supreme Court justices during a presidential election should be maintained.
In other words, the President should not do any work during his last year in office according to Cruz, Rubio, and Daines.
They should study their U.S. Supreme Court history a little more before opening their mouth.
The AP reported that Anthony Kennedy was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 3, 1988, in the final year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, by a 97-0 vote. That was a presidential election year.
Republican Presidential Debate:
It was an embarrassing display by most of the Republican Presidential candidates Saturday night. It became nasty and they called each other names. Some called it a demolition derby.
About the only bright spot during the debate was John Kasich. He acted Presidential.
A Conservative Blog:
I found it interesting that a newspaper would promote a blog…
Great Falls Tribune reporter Phil Drake promoted a conservative Montana blog recently. Drake told his readers this weekend that a blog called “Republican Uprising” is “worth a look.” Read the column HERE.
I actually thought Drake would be promoting the Montana Watchdog blog…