Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been dead for less than forty-eight hours, and the political maneuvering has already begun on both sides of the aisle. Ted Cruz this morning pledged to filibuster anyone that President Obama nominates to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Cruz intends to stall the appointment until a new president takes office.
As the Inquisitr has reported, the process for appointing a new Justice to the Supreme Court isn’t particularly complicated, but it is time consuming – it takes around three months on average to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice. But with the Republican-controlled senate, Ted Cruz could potentially deliver on his promise to stall the appointment of a new Justice to America’s highest court until early next year when a new – and Cruz hopes Republican – president takes office.
The last time a Supreme Court seat was vacant for that long was in 1969, and in the interim Cruz’s plan would leave a vital piece of the American justice system crippled, or at least diminished in its capacity to hear and decide cases.
“This should be a decision for the people, let the election decide. If the Democrats want to replace this nominee they need to win the election. But I don’t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I don’t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, I don’t think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution,” Cruz said in a lengthy screed on ABC News’ This Week.
Ted Cruz’s comments have inflamed both sides of the debate, and according to USA Today, President Obama will nominate Scalia’s successor, despite the fiery rhetoric from the conservative right.
“I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time, there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote,” President Obama said to USA Today.
While the Republican nominees are vocally supporting a filibuster of anyone Obama nominates to the Court, the President – a constitutional scholar himself – made an effort to remind the Senate that the Supreme Court is an institution that was designed to be a counterweight to popular opinion, not a reflection of it.
“These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone. They’re bigger than any one party. They are about democracy, they’re about the institution to which Justice Scalia dedicated his professional life, and making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned,” President Obama said.
In fact, as the Inquisitr reported earlier, the frontrunner on Obama’s shortlist of nominees isn’t the stalwart liberal that Cruz and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are afraid of. He’s a centrist, and would be the first Indian-American to serve on the Court. Sri Srinivasan is a federal court judge, whom Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio voted in favor of appointing to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was confirmed in an almost unprecedented 97-0 vote in the U.S. Senate.
Srinivasan, who politicians on both sides of the aisle consider one of the best lawyers and legal minds in the United States, has kept his personal beliefs to himself. As a result, liberals and conservatives are left to parse his background, which is incredibly impressive, reports Mother Jones. And this personal impartiality may be the key to getting through the partisan gridlock which will no doubt hold up any potential nominee to the Supreme Court.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]