The old adage, ” Now is the time for all good people to come to the aide of their country,” is appropriate at this time. There is a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court created by the death of Associate Justice Scalia over the weekend. The Constitution provides that the President put forth a viable candidate for the Senate to ratify to replace the late Justice Scalia. That is what precisely needs to happen. Despite the sentiments of the Republicans versus the Democrats in this electoral year and despite the label of , “Lame Duck,” hanging around the neck of President Obama…the action of government needs to continue, seamlessly.
While there are always those that expound the notion that because it is an election year, the next President should make the appointment to the nation’s highest court, that concept is inconsistent with the manner with which our American Republic operates. The speculation of what individual will next occupy the Oval Office is not relevant to the need at the present time. President Obama has the obligation to propose a nominee for the Supreme Court after due diligence on his part without concern for the outcome of the November elections.
The docket of the high court is already backlogged with many cases that are under judicial review and waiting for a proclamation from the Wise Nine. From a purely functional point of view, the Supreme Court is not intended to properly function with an even number of Justices. We are dealing with issues that are waiting for an interpretation of the rule of American Constitutional law that effect our society, our American way of living and frankly testing the resilience of our methodology of juris prudence. The wheel of American separation of powers is not broken, nor is it in need of reinvention. It is in need of direct implementation as the rule of law defines. Now, what is so hard about that?
The fact that this is an election year is inconsequential and anyone that believes that this is an issue is erroneous.
The Wise Nine are intrinsically determined to be above and beyond partisan politics. Many a SCOTUS ruling has been made with the wailing and gnashing of partisan bicuspids because the dominating party in Congress felt betrayed by the decisions handed down by the high court. That is unfortunate for the disgruntled in Congress, the Supreme Court is its own branch of the Federal Government and works autonomously. The Constitution makes the separation of powers very clear. Muddling the political, electoral and judicial waters over the Constitutional obligation that is enjoyed by President Obama is wrong. The POTUS is exercising his authority and duty as he has solemnly sworn to defend. The political elite and the political potentials need to in this case give the president a break and permit him to do his job.
With all of that said, it is time to put Vice-President Biden to work negotiating with Congress to get the President’s nominee approved in a reasonable amount of time. Despite the fact that the clock is ticking down the days of the Obama Presidency, the nation needs the Supreme Court to operate in full capacity of numbers and tasks. Justice Scalia would have enjoyed the political firestorm that is breaking out on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail. As a scholar of the Constitution, Judge Scalia would without doubt maintain his Conservative stance and want the President and the Congress to read the text of the document, and follow what it clearly states. That is the legacy of Justice Scalia and that is what the Founding Fathers wanted. Get on with the job at hand and come to the aide of the country, President Obama, and the United States Senate. Carpe Diem! We don’t know what Novemeber will bring and whatever it brings is far too off in the future to consider it today!