Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia died Saturday. Antonin Scalia was 79-years-old. His body was found at a West Texas resort where Antonin was on a hunting vacation. The cause of death is not known as of this writing but is thought to be due to natural causes. There are conspiracy theorists who believe foul play was involved. The Inquisitr reported on this theory. Click here to read more about it. The death of Antonin Scalia has created a vacancy in the Supreme Court.
Breaking News: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died at age 79. pic.twitter.com/WHsgiBup32
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 13, 2016
Minutes after the news of Antonin Scalia’s death broke, politicians were buzzing on the upcoming battle that will happen when President Obama tries to appoint a replacement judge to the court. Politicians from both parties took to the airwaves and social media to give their view on what President Obama should do in regard to Scalia’s replacement.
Antonin Scalia was one of the conservative judges on the Supreme Court. Republicans fear that if Obama gets to appoint a replacement, it will tip the scales on the court to lean liberal. President Obama has under a year left as President of the United States. High-ranking Republicans argue that Obama should not be allowed to appoint a liberal judge to the Supreme Court that will likely serve for multiple decades. The Republicans are saying that the winner of the 2016 presidential election should be the one to fill the vacancy on the court.
Of course, Republicans are banking on their side winning the election. If the next president is Republican, then a Republican replacement will be appointed to the court, keeping the balance of power the same as it is now since Scalia was a Republican-appointed judge. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states the view from the Republican-controlled Senate.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
As could be expected, Democrats were vocal that President Obama not only should appoint a replacement judge but he has the authority to do so. The Constitution is clear about the powers given to the president in regard to appointing a replacement judge to the Supreme Court. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the president no longer has certain powers if the president is within a certain number of days of leaving office. President Obama will have all the authority and powers as President of the United States up to the moment a next president is sworn in next January. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid states the Democratic view from the Senate.
“The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away. With so many important issues pending before the Supreme Court, the Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible. It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat. Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) February 14, 2016
Yesterday, the process of appointing a replacement judge to the Supreme Court, and confirming, the new judge was covered by The Inquisitr. In the most basic terms, any replacement that President Obama appoints will need to be approved by the Senate. The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans. It is this fact that experts are pointing to when they say the upcoming confirmation battle will be something that we have never seen before.
Will Republicans be able to stall confirming Obama’s Supreme Court replacement?
[Image Via AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta]