Supreme Court justice dies, sparks controversy

Grassley should allow vote on replacement -Olivia Martin

Last Saturday, Feb. 13, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. The 79-year-old died in his sleep while staying at a resort in West Texas. Scalia’s death has brought with it a slew of controversy and has turned into a politicized war that Republicans are determined to fight for their own gains.

The law says the sitting president has the right to nominate a replacement for the former justice. The decision must then be confirmed by the United States Senate. This protocol has been the law since the Constitution was written, yet modern Republicans are trying to deny President Obama his right to nominate a new justice.

Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has made some remarks as of late that have yielded a lot of criticism, and rightly so. Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, agreed with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and some other Republicans who believe that the next president should be the one to find a replacement for Scalia’s seat on the court. According to The New York Times, Grassley made a statement shortly after Scalia’s death saying that “It only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice.”

It is interesting that Senator Grassley has taken this stance because it is utterly inconsistent with his previous actions in a parallel situation. In 2008, he pressed for President George W. Bush, a Republican, to have the ability to make his own nominations to the Supreme Court. During this time, Democrats had the majority in the Senate. This seems more than a little hypocritical on Grassley’s part, right?

It seems that Republicans only like and abide by the law when it sways in their favor. The Des Moines Register, in an editorial published on Tuesday, Feb. 16, agreed that Grassley’s stance on the matter at hand is purely a political ploy. The editorial makes the strong case against Grassley’s above statement, explaining that it was the same “American people” that the senator refers to who elected President Obama for two consecutive terms.

The Register raises an important issue that Grassley fallaciously disregarded in his statement: nearly 66 million people voted to elect president Obama in 2012, and “they did so with the expectation that he would fulfill his constitutional duties as long as he remained in office.” One of his constitutional duties is to nominate a new Supreme Court justice.

Those belonging to the GOP who act as if they are the true champions of the Constitution should take a step back and try to be less hypocritical for once.

Republicans should block Obama’s pick -Brennan Kohls

After Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court died on Saturday, Feb. 13, there has been a battle brewing between Republicans and Democrats, primarily between President Obama and the Republican majority in the Senate over the president appointing a new judge who will most likely hold the same ideology that he does, causing an unbalance of conservatives and liberals on the court.

It is the president’s constitutional duty and right to nominate his or her pick for a replacement justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, making that the main argument for the Democrats, so now they suddenly pay attention to the Constitution. However, what they are either forgetting or intentionally leaving out is the fact that the Senate has the constitutional right to vote down the candidate.

In Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, it clearly states, “The President 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.”

In other words, the president can nominate a person for the Supreme Court, but the Senate can decline the nominee. Keep this single part from the Constitution in mind, “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Obama can quote the Constitution and blame Republicans all he wants, but he can’t erase the Senate’s constitutional right to shoot down his nomination.

Republicans in the Senate cannot let the president’s nominee become a part of the Supreme Court. It’s obvious that Obama will pick a liberal justice, causing the court to become unbalanced. Justices on the court are on there for life, causing more than a few years of a liberal-controlled court with some of the biggest cases coming up in the near future such as amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the United States. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must stand up to the president and the Democrats and block the president’s nominee for the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.

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