Supreme Court Decisions: This One From The Sandbox

The Supreme Court is one person short and rising up is the newest excuse for a battle that doesn’t need to be – and should not be – a battle at all. Due to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected recent death, the ninth seat of the Court is open. What is ahead?

What should be ahead is that all parties involved will work together as adults to fill that vacant Court seat to choose a replacement Justice. What is being done is something more akin to “meet me on the playground in the sandbox by the monkey bars at three.” It will be a circus. Nobody really plans on working “together,” and the separate parties are out for their own selfish, goal…to win.

One side is threatening to do whatever it takes to fill this position as soon as possible. One side is threatening to block any type of nomination before the next presidential election, no matter what. The fate of the Supreme Court, the highest court in our land, the supreme court, is in the hands of children on a playground picking sides. And that’s part of the problem: they aren’t children, they are adults, and they are on different, stubborn sides.

The government itself tells us that the Supreme Court has been around since it was organized in 1790, in alignment with the Constitution, (remember that?). The Supreme Court’s sole purpose, as Scholastic teaches even to children, is to be the final decision-maker in all things Congress, President, or Constitution-related. The court of final checks and balances. Not to be taken lightly.

And so that there is always a final decision, there’s a reason there are nine individuals that comprise this Court – eight Associate Justices and one Chief Justice. In the case of a tie, there is always a tie-breaker.

Until now.

However, this isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has faced this issue. Justices have died, retired, or even resigned, which has left a seat open and raised the need for the President to nominate somebody to fill the position, as the President should do, that’s his job. But, Congress also needs to approve said nomination because that’s its job.

No matter which way you lean, the purpose of neither group here should be to push forth their agenda just to thumb a nose at the other side. The purpose should be to act like an adult and get a deciding vote back on the Supreme Court appointment so cases can be heard instead of delayed. As BBC News reported, the longest time it has ever taken a Supreme Court nominee to get approved is 125 days. What would happen if these two sides fought stubbornly over this issue for the next eight months? Let’s all shudder at the thought of even more governmental discord and backlog.

What appears to be happening, seemingly more and more often, is that instead of focusing on the real issue at hand – in this instance, an open seat on the Supreme Court of the United States that needs to be filled, two groups of politicians are digging their heels into the ground, crossing their arms over their chests, jutting their lower lips out, and pouting like 3-year-olds, refusing to pick up their toys, um, do their jobs.

Supreme Court Justices photo

For the last many years, the lay of the Supreme Court land has leaned a tad more toward conservatism. It is understandable that the conservatives would want it to stay that way, and the liberals would want it to sway in the other direction. But if you’re going to be stubborn and fight over an ideal simply because it’s the motto of a “side” and not based on the job description, doesn’t that mean you’ve lost sight of the most important ideal of all? Maybe the “sides” are getting in the way?

The Supreme Court and its foundation on the Constitution are pretty straightforward. Possibly our government needs a refresher course; certainly it needs to play together nicely, even if that’s in the middle of the sandbox.

[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]