Vow to reject nominee ignores Constitution

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Justice Antonin Scalia enjoyed his well deserved reputation as the most conservative member of the U.S. Supreme Court, but he drew influence for his deliberations more often from the U.S. Constitution than he did from partisan ideology. That same Constitution now instructs the president to nominate a justice to fill the vacancy left by Scalia, who died Saturday at the age of 79.

So there is some irony in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership’s vow to reject any replacement suggested by President Barack Obama.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the nomination to replace Scalia should be left to the person who succeeds Obama next year. McConnell is joined by most of his Republican colleagues, including U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

Given the poisonous atmosphere of American politics these days, the pre-emptive strike should hardly be a surprise. But it is a disappointment, nonetheless.

Former President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, nominated Anthony Kennedy during Reagan’s final year in office. A predominantly Democratic U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination, 97-0. Life and government went on, as they should.

Blindly rejecting an Obama nominee – before the president has even suggested one – tells Americans that Republicans do not care much about impartial justice. They just want their guy – or gal – on the bench.

That will not stop Obama from submitting a nominee. Nor should it. He would be shirking his constitutional responsibility otherwise.

Surely, that is something Justice Scalia would have understood, even if Senate Republicans don’t.

Comments

What was your editorial stance in 2006?

Telegram, where was your outrage when the Democrats were railing against the Republicans over the same issue? If this vacancy had occurred with a Republican in the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate, each side would now be making the opposite argument. Chuck Schumer,incoming Senate Democratic leader,said in July of 2007 that Senate Democrats shouldn’t allow George W. Bush to fill any future Supreme Court vacancies “except in extraordinary circumstances”:“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation. The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.” Obama, as a U.S. senator, tried in 2006 to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito. Telegram, you have a short convenient, extremely biased memory!

Typical Telegram Hogwash

I see you are in the Democrat pocket again. No where does Article Two of the Constitution say the Senate has to approve a President's nomination (which your headline insinuates). The only requirement is for the President to nominate a person and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint...Judges of the Supreme Court. Advice and consent is key. No where does it say the Senate has to approve a nomination. You are further misleading your readers when you state Kennedy was nominated during President Reagan's final year in office. He was actually nominated Nov 11, 1987 (Reagans next to last year) and took office Feb 18, 1988 (Reagans final year). Thank you Senate for finally being a counter balance to this President.

True words

Your editorial head the nail on the head. If anyone is to be rejected it is up to all of us to reject the extremist politicians, many of which, we have unfortunately already elected.

Voters are too stupid

There are extremists on both side of the aisle yet voters blindly vote based on the D or R in front of a candidates name. Happens all the time. When was the last time you saw a Republican elected to office in Edgecombe County which is majority Democrat County. Now we are facing the consequences of tax and spend Commissioners. They have greater job security than the Supreme Court justices. Probably happens on the Nash side as well.

Sad!

These ignant racist white guys need to stop acting as if they are God and/or the Constitution. Play by the rules!

Yeah you have the power and I always say what is good is having the power and not using it. But one must use it by the law and not change the rules of the games just because when the law has not changed.

President Obama didn't divide this country, ignant racist white folk with power has divided and still continue to further divide.

No one is changing the rules

Let him nominate. The Senate has every right to reject or let it sit until they see fit. We can both agree this Senate has been a complete waste.

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