This article was written by Cath Kestler, resident of Silver Creek. It can also be found in the (Dunkirk) Observer Today
“If we’re picking people to draw out of their own conscience and experience a ‘new’ Constitution, we should not look principally for good lawyers. We should look to the people who agree with us. When we are in that mode, you realize we have rendered the Constitution useless.” Antonin Scalia.
US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, where he served until his death of an apparent heart attack February 13, 2016 at a luxurious hunting lodge in Marfa, Texas. He was known as the most conservative of all the justices on the high court.
Upon his death, Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell took to the airwaves and sent out his condolences and also shot a warning of sorts aimed at President Obama that he wasn’t going to let any nomination he picked come up for a vote.
Even though the President has chosen not to make a recess appointment, which was rumored around the Beltway in DC because the Senate is on recess till the 22nd of February, McConnell is hoping for a GOP landslide which speaks to him that the people want another conservative justice appointed.
The squabbling on the Hill is coming from both Republicans and Democrats. According to CNN, President Obama will gear up for a contentious confirmation battle in his final year of his presidency; the handful of endangered Senate Republicans in swing states will become targets of intense pressure to buck their party’s leadership and call for a confirmation vote, according to the Democrats involved with the planning.
This is an obvious political calculation McConnell is trying to play by obstructing and holding a nominee for political gain. The gamble is in hoping to hold onto a GOP led Senate in a high-stakes 2016 campaign race. The end result he is looking for is to hold onto the Senate—the Supreme Court—and possibly the presidency. There are 24 GOP Senate seats available compared to the 10 seats available for the Democrats, with the Supreme Court being the tipping point.
Since 1975, no nominee has waited for a confirmation vote longer than 108 days. What makes McConnell think that the GOP should have the majority on the Supreme Court? They have had the majority for years and the justices still upheld the Affordable Care Act—no matter how many times it has come up for a vote to repeal—if you’re counting that’s over 60 times! That’s a huge waste of taxpayer money that could have gone to, say pay back the monies owed to the Social Security fund (our private money for our retirement) or to pay down the deficit. It’s wasted money, period.
The majority leader says he wants the voice of the people to speak as to what party affiliation the new appointee is registered as. They don’t listen to us as voters up on that big hill now, why would this make a difference? Do you as a voter really think those we have voted for have OUR best interests at heart? Nope. They are beholden to the big corporations that pull their puppet strings. Those strings that are connected to their pockets.
Actually of all the justices on the high court Scalia (may he rest in peace) and Thomas should be wearing their black robes with sponsor patches on them. Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be neutral, but it isn’t a secret that they enjoyed many trips and luxurious dinners at the hands of lobbyists and have been paid speakers at conferences and conventions that have had or have cases before the court.
Basically with the US Supreme Court and the remaining justices we have still sitting on the bench, any case before them can end in a tie, thus leading to the ruling of the under court will be the outcome. It truly is a disservice to all involved, especially us; there is no deciding vote. Can we really afford to wait almost a year in hopes of a GOP President from the clown car of candidates there are to choose from? It truly is a joke to watch the infantile debates amongst the Republicans—it’s like recess at elementary school sandbox.
I’m pretty sure President Obama will take great care in the selection of the next appointee, it remains to be seen as to how McConnell and the Senate react—will they follow him off the cliff or will they come to their senses and vote with the people in mind. Remember this when you are at your voting booth.