Letter to Editor
It is ironic that Senator Tim Scott, in his recent editorial
regarding the appointment of the replacement
for Justice Antonin Scalia, went on at great length about the importance of
politicians following "the
will of the people", while the leaders of his own party are laying awake
at night trying to devise a back-
door-scheme to deny their party's nomination for president to the voters' clear
choice, and to hand the
nomination to the distant third-place candidate. So much for "the will of
The people expressed their will quite clearly a little more
than three years ago, when they re-elected
President Obama to his second four-year term. That's four years, not three.
The constitution is clear in describing the president's responsibility for nominating
a replacement for a
vacancy on the court, and for the Senate's responsibility for considering that
nominee for confirmation.
There is no ambiguity, and certainly no mention of a cut-off point in a
president's term of office beyond
which a president's constitutional responsibities are put on hold until after
the next election.
Senator Scott cited Joe Biden's comments made 24 years ago in
which Biden questioned whether the
then incumbent president should recommend a replacement to fill a Supreme Court
vacancy during the
last days of the president's term of office. What he does not mention is the
fact that the Republican
who spoke in opposition to Biden's question was South Carolina's own Senator
Strom Thurmond, who
said (correctly) that there is no rule that would prevent an incumbent
president from making an
appointment at any time during his term of office. The state of today's
Republican party is almost
enough to make one nostalgic for Strom Thurmond.
The objection by the Republicans to President Obama's
exercising his constitutional responsibility to
put forward a nominee for Justice Scalia's replacement is nothing more than
continuation of their overt,
stated policy of obstruction of the nation's business for cheap political gain.
The responsibilies of the
president and the Senate are clear. Let's get on with it.