After the unfortunate news that Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia, had unexpectedly passed away, my initial reaction was shock. Then, like most of the conservative movement, my second thought drifted toward a dismayed realization. I was dismayed because I was 100% certain that whatever radical leftist Obama chose to replace him with would be half-heartedly opposed by the surrender caucus in Washington. This, I would say is the equivalent of knowing beforehand that you were about to witness a slow-motion car crash that would take place in the near future.
I don’t want to be pessimistic before the process even starts, but this is the same congress that surrenders to the president on the outset of every battle that matters. Not only do these guys not fight, but they snipe anyone who is even willing to. So I watched Saturday as candidates and leaders in the party positioned themselves urging the president to leave this appointment to the next president. Sen. Chuck Grassley , Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “The fact of the matter is that it’s been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year,” Grassley also said “Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this president, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice.”
We all knew this wasn’t going happen. The president put this notion to rest making a statement the same day saying, “I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to name a successor in due time,” he told reporters. “There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.” They’re already floating nominees he may consider.
Starting today, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) , should be making the case that the Senate won’t be a rubber stamp of this administration. It should be all hands on deck in the Republican-led Senate. In the process for the SCOTUS nomination, the Senate plays a key role of “Advice and Consent”, which is prescribed in the appointments clause of the constitution. They have every obligation to ensure that any nominee holds adherence to the Constitution above all else. There may be one small silver lining in all of this though. Whoever the president chooses to nominate will have to go through the Senate Judiciary committee. The committee which is chaired by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) may be the only hope in weeding out any extreme nominee.
This hail mary scenario may be our only stopgap. With committee members, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) , it’s hard to see a silver lining but the committee also has Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) , Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) , and Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) . This circumstance is set up to be the ultimate showdown that could have ramifications that far outweigh which Republican is picked in this year’s presidential primary.
Bruce Walker proposes an excellently aggressive strategy in a piece written in the American Thinker, he writes:
“If Senate Republicans expect conservatives to ever trust them on anything, then they must decline to consider Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia. There is precedentfor this. In 1968, when Republicans were a Senate minority possessing only the power offilibuster, Everett Dirksen prevented Lyndon Johnson from appointing Associate Justice Abe Fortas to replace retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren and then appointing Homer Thornbury to take Fortas’s seat as an associate justice. Senate Minority Leader Dirksen did not run the Senate or control any Senate committees. Republicans, in fact, held only 36 Senate seats, and several of these were leftists. Yet Dirksen was able to cobble together enough senators to prevent Johnson from filling a Supreme Court office during a heated election year. The left, of course, squealed and yelled, but it lost because Senate Republicans and a handful of Senate Democrats stood firm.” Read the article
Whichever SCOTUS nominee makes it through the Judiciary Committee will then face a vote on the Senate floor. I would advise anyone reading this to contact your Senators and tell him or her to vote no on any Obama nominee period, no matter what. Our mission should be to fight this until there is nothing left. The Senate needs to also be leery of going into a full recess. We’re all familiar with the Obama recess appointments of the past.
Most conservatives have a pessimistic view of what the outcome of the fight for this vacant seat will be. They believe that the Republican leaders are probably already hiding under their desk even before this unfolds. They fear that leaders in our party may already be signaling to the president that they intend to show how fair and compromising they can be throughout this process. The white flag has already been hoisted high above the upper chamber well before Obama’s even made his choice. Oh sure, they’ll play the game where they talk tough, but they are likely to falter.
Anyone that does wage a meaningful fight will be shouted down with the establishment asking, “What’s your end game?”. They will find the moderate votes needed and then McConnell will act powerless to stop the coronation of the first liberal Supreme Court in some time. The implications of this will likely reverberate through our governmental system for the next few decades. We all know what will happen if we lose this supreme court. We all know there are only a few vestiges of the federal government that somewhat follows the constitution. The loss of Justice Scalia is a tragedy of epic proportions. Now, all that we can do is wait, watch, and pray.