After writing an editorial suggesting that President Obama should appoint another Catholic to the Supreme Court, many have questioned the sanity with which that statement was made. Well, it was made in order to inspire the faithful Catholics of the United States to make their voices known loudly and clearly regarding their desires to have another Catholic appointed to the nation’s highest court. Intrinsically, the rule of Constitutional law does not stipulate what faith the Wise Nine should hold in order to preside over the Supreme Court. We are actually blessed with five sitting Supreme Court Justices that are Catholic. It would be ideologically insane to believe that the President would appoint another Catholic to replace Associate Justice Scalia simply because currently presidential favor towards another Catholic Associate Justice is indeed highly unlikely.
However, the Constitutional rule of law is incumbent that the President appoint a replacement to fill the vacant seat created by the death of Justice Scalia. Regardless of the political conflagration currently happening in Washington, D.C. and around the nation President Obama has the responsibility and obligation to fulfill his obligations to the Constitution, for this he should not be criticized. Whether the Senate indeed confirms the nominee, yet to be put forward is another matter entirely. Once again, the Constitution provides the procedural rule of law for ratification of a nominee to the Supreme Court. If the deliberations of the United States Senate procrastinate in their obligation for whatever the reasons until after the presidential election in November, such is their responsibility.
Indeed, perhaps the next President of the United States will have the rare and coveted opportunity to reconfigure the Supreme Court according to the political inclinations of the nation only revealed in November. Suspicion indicates this is unlikely and indicates a lack of prudence on the part of the United States Senate, considering some of their seats are up for grabs!
The unfolding of the Supreme Court saga is still at the nascent stage and it is really too early in the first trimester to make a prognostication of a safe delivery of an Associate Justice within a reasonable amount of time. Once again, the document that guides the navigation, the Constitution does not stipulate the time frame within which the nomination of an Associate Justice, the Senate’s procedural process or the ratification of the proposed nominee should take place. Due diligence is at work and that is indeed one of the hallmarks of our American Republic and our system of legislative and juridical procedures. Hopefully, an amicable appointment of a properly vetted candidate with keen legal potentiality will be proposed by President Obama.
Regarding the role Catholics play in this process of supplementing the Supreme Court’s current vacancy is to lobby their senatorial representatives. Catholic voters are a formidable block of the popular vote in the United States, and the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government should recognize the potential strength of the Catholic vote. Any competent group of Catholics that do not recognize or realize this potentiality of the Catholic ballot should be considered for a psychological examination. After stating this, despite their timidity to make any statements regarding critical issues on politics, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops need to, as is commonly said, “Man up!” Many decisions before the Supreme Court need further examination and perhaps overturning…need we mention again and again, Roe v Wade! In the past forty years, with six Associate Justices sitting on the Supreme Court, Catholics have not been able to muster overturning this decision, one that insults the dignity of the human person from initial conception! The USCCB needs to be a loud and strong voice for the Catholic population in toto not just their selective interest groups or topics such as immigration issues, religious education or other non-sequiturs that are reflective of only a small part of the Catholic population. Four decades of legalized murder of an unborn human-being demands their attention and continued actions. Marches for Life are important, yes. However, the ballot box for human life SHOUTS more loudly!
If indeed, writing on the potential nominee to the United States Supreme Court is a bit unrealistic, I agree. Despite the unlikelihood, we Catholics are a people of hope! We hope and indeed pray that justice will prevail within the framework of our American government, united, three-in-one as powerful advocates for a better American society.
Pray, that our Three-in-One, Most Holy Trinity guides Catholics to loudly proclaim in thoughts, actions and ballots their dissatisfaction with a dysfunctional Federal Government and in many cases a dysfunctional American Society to a renewed sense of LIFE, LIBERTY & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…for all peoples.