As my good friend said tonight, Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court has been dead all but a few hours and the politicians are already swarming. GOP presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have already declared that the next president should be the one to appoint a justice to fill Scalia’s seat. In a written statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed with this view, claiming that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next justice.
Dear Senator McConnell: the American people have a voice and it was heard when we reelected Barack Obama in 2012. Of his second term, President Obama has only finished 75% of its four years, meaning that he has 25%, or one year, left. As the democratically elected leader of the American people until his term expires in 2017, Barack Obama not only has every right, but the Constitutional obligation, to name a new justice to replace Scalia and the senate has a constitutional duty to review and confirm the nominee.
This sort of obstructionist politics serves only to diminish the voice of the American people and the leader we elected. It is deplorable and shakes the very foundation of our republican form of government. I suspect if our current president was a Republican, you would feel quite differently.