Sandra Day O’Connor: Obama, Not Cruz Or Trump, Should Pick Scalia’s Replacement

Sandra Day O'Connor: Obama Not Cruz or Trump Should Pick Scalia's Replacement

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor commented on the Antonin Scalia appointment controversy, saying President Obama should appoint Scalia’s replacement. Speaking with Fox 10, O’Connor had harsh words for Republicans who want Scalia’s seat filled by the next president.

“I think we need somebody there now, to do the job. Let’s get on with it,” O’Connor told Fox 10 this morning.

Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed by Ronald Reagan back in 1981, the first woman to take a seat on the Supreme Court. Commenting further on the obstructionism of Senate Republicans, O’Connor stated that the vacancy should be filled with all possible haste, the Court cannot wait for the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice to be decided politically.

“We just have to pick the person you can under the circumstances as the appointing authority must do, it’s an important position and one that we should care about as a nation and as a people,” O’Connor told Fox 10.

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and the other Republican presidential candidates continue to spar over the potential appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice. In a television ad released this weekend, the Ted Cruz Campaign slams Donald Trump for his previous stance on abortion. The ad suggests to voters that Trump can’t be trusted to appoint a conservative to the Supreme Court, reports the Daily Caller.

“Life, marriage, religious liberty, the Second Amendment. We’re just one Supreme Court Justice away from losing them all. We cannot trust Donald Trump with these serious decisions,” says the Ted Cruz campaign ad.

The Cruz ad viciously attacks Trump with some outlandish accusations, but it seems to be having a tangible effect on the Cruz poll numbers. For the first time since the Republican primary began, Cruz has pulled ahead of Trump in the national polls, reports CNN.

It’s a narrow lead, within the margin of error, but the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has had a tremendous effect on the presidential race, particularly for the bitterly divided Republican Party. Voters may enjoy Trump’s personality, and bombastic style, but Ted Cruz is skillfully playing on fears that he isn’t the conservative he claims to be, and that he most certainly isn’t a candidate who should be trusted with such an important decision as appointing a new Supreme Court Justice.

Nevertheless, Sandra Day O’Connor says the Supreme Court decision is more important than political partisanship.

“I don’t agree,” she says, when asked about the Republican position that Obama should be blocked from nominating the next Supreme Court Justice. “[The presidential race] creates too much talk around the thing that isn’t necessary.”

Sandra Day O’Connor was a swing vote on the Supreme Court during her tenure, something of a centrist, she’s well-respected by the Republican base. Marco Rubio replied to her statements earlier today, saying that despite his enormous respect for O’Connor, he disagrees with her position.

“The Court can function with eight justices,” Rubio said, “It wouldn’t be fair to the nominee [to nominate someone now.]”

Ted Cruz weighed in, as well, expressing his doubt that a nominee would get a fair shake in the highly-partisan U.S. Senate.

“I think that hearing would end up very politicized,” Ted Cruz said, after releasing a campaign ad that politicized the Supreme Court appointment, “I think this is a matter of policy, that during a lame-duck period we should not be confirming a Supreme Court nomination.”

Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired in 2006 to take care of her ailing husband, simply does not agree. Speaking with Fox 10, O’Connor says this time should be spent grieving for Scalia and getting the court back to work.

“Antonin Scalia’s wit and wisdom will be missed,” she says, “Nino was a tireless public servant who left an indelible mark upon the court.”

[Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images]