There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court owing to the recent death of the great Antonin Scalia. President Obama and the Democrats are itching to put a third Obama-appointed justice on the high court. But with just 11 months until the merciful end of the Obama reign, Senate Republicans say there will be no hearing. Let’s hope they stay true to their word.
It would not be unprecedented. Democrats made the same threats during the waning months of both Bush presidencies when they controlled the Senate. Of course, Democrats are crying foul now that the GOP is returning the favor. But what are Democrats if not hypocritical?
Others, like Senator Harry Reid, are claiming that such a maneuver would represent a “constitution crisis,” but then Harry Reid is a thoroughly disreputable character, a drama queen, and a lot of other things I cannot write on this blog without violating my standard of decorum.
First, there would be no constitution crisis. There is this thing called “checks-and-balances” that helps equalize the three branches of government. President Obama is well without his presidential authority to nominate a justice, and the Senate is well within its authority to not grant a hearing.
Second, SCOTUS can function with eight justices indefinitely. It means that some rulings might end in a 4-4 tie, but the court isn’t suddenly impotent just because there’s an empty seat. While the Constitution does specify a high court, it does not set the number of justices. That was done by Congress when it established our court system. Thus, the Supreme Court can function effectively with eight members, or seven, or whatever. The constitution is not affected.
Thus, there is no constitution crisis brewing with a potential prolonged vacancy. Anyone who claims otherwise is just playing politics and relying on the ignorance of the American electorate. (I would wager that most Americans believe the Constitution calls for nine Sureme Court justices.) Democrats are particularly salivating at the prospect of a third Obama nominee. That’s because their agenda would never succeed at the polls. So they have to have the courts do what the voters never would (abortion, ObamaCare, same-sex marriage).
Granted, the left already has most of what it wants. But there’s one thing left standing that they have so far been unable to get their hands on. Replacing Scalia with an uber-leftist would open the door to their holy grail: overturning the Second Amendment.