Within minutes after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the political debate began not over who will take his place on the court, but who will make the appointment.
Should President Obama let this decision be made by the next president? Or should the appointment be his?
This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
Posted by Ben Swann on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
President Obama made it clear that he will nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia as soon as possible, saying it is his presidential duty to do so and the senate’s duty to give that person a fair confirmation process.
So is the president right? Yes. No question. Constitutional authority and responsibility falls on the president.
But Republicans say if they have their way, there won’t be a confirmation process. They will block any Obama nominees to the high court until a new president is in office next year.
So who is right here?
In the final year of his presidency, should Obama appoint or stand down?
Let’s talk about history.
At least 14 times in U.S. history, supreme court justices have been confirmed in election years.
But five of those 14 actually happened in past 100 years. The most recent, Justice Anthony Kennedy, was confirmed.
It’s important to note that Kennedy was actually nominated by President Reagan in 1987, confirmed in ’88.
As for the confirmation process, has a supreme court nominee in an election year ever been rejected by the senate? Yes, but that hasn’t happened since 1852 under President Millard Fillmore.
So presidential nominations to the supreme court can and have taken place in an election year. But this Republican-controlled senate says it will block any nomination by Obama, which would mean that the only way for the president to nominate would be a recess appointment while congress is on break.
Interestingly, as a reader of the Washington Times found, in August 1960, the Democrat-controlled senate passed a resolution, S.RES. 334, “Expressing the sense of the Senate that the president should not make recess appointments to the Supreme Court, except to prevent or end a breakdown in the administration of the Court’s business.”
According to Govtrack.us, President Eisenhower had used the recess appointment power to make previous appointments to the supreme court, and Democrats objected to further use of the recess appointment power.
Republicans protested this 1960 vote, but didn’t have the votes to stop it.
No president has used the recess appointment power to appoint a justice of the supreme court since then.
What you need to know is that there is so much hypocrisy on both sides here. Sen. Chuck Schumer said in 2007 that Democrats would do everything they could to block any more supreme court appointments by then-President Bush.
The political atmosphere is toxic. But maybe the the answer to this problem is one that would end lifetime appointments of justices. Consider that in 1776 the average life expectancy for a U.S. citizen was 35. In 1900 it was only 47. Today it’s 77 years old.
Article reposted with permission from Truth in Media, the opinions and views shared do not necessarily reflect the views of Freedom Outpost.
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