Thursday, February 18, 2016

Seeking Scalia's Replacement

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The federal court system is not supposed to be as powerful as it is.  Nonetheless, it has become very powerful over the last two centuries, therefore the future of this country may very well be in the hands of the person who appoints the United States Supreme Court replacement for the recently departed Antonin Scalia.  Many of the Republicans, and all of the Democrats, realize the reality of this disturbing truth, and now the Presidential Election, and the fight for seats in the United States Senate, have become an all-new ballgame.  With a split Supreme Court, which now stands at four-to-the-left, and four-to-the-right, the next choice will likely serve as the tie-breaker in very important Supreme Court decisions that may very well determine the next chapter of the story of the United States.

The Democrats believe that the process should move quickly, and the next Supreme Court justice needs to take his seat soon.  If the Republicans delay, or are not quick to confirm, as far as the Democrats are concerned, the GOP is being obstructive, and they are not living up to their constitutional duty.

The constitutional duty of the United States Senate is not to be a rubber stamp for the President.  The reason why the Constitution requires that appointments must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate is so that the Senate (once the voice of the States) could serve as a check and balance against the President.  Therefore, if they want to take their sweet time and be slow about it, that is their business.  Doing what they are told, because the President says so, is not in line with the American System of checks and balances -- efficient obedience is more in line with a system run by a dictator -- one the founders would call a "tyranny."

The United States Senate has every right to delay, deny, and disapprove the appointment process.  They have every right to reject what the President offers.  If the Democrats think they should be able to appoint the next Supreme Court justice, the answer is clear. . . appeal to the people, win the White House, and regain the Senate.  However, if We the People disagrees, and they put a Republican in the White House, and maintain a GOP majority in the Senate, then it is the job of the Democrats to deal with it.

The same goes for the Republicans if they lose this battle.

Let us also remember how many times the Democrats took advantage of their numbers when they had the majority.  If Scalia had died near the end of a Republican President's term, you are darn tootin' the Democrats would be doing what they could to delay confirmation, as well.

My frustration, however, is the very fact that the future of America may hang in the balance based on the appointment of the next United States Supreme Court justice.

The federal court system is not supposed to have so much power.

When John Adams asked John Jay to return to the Supreme Court as its Chief Justice back in 1801, Jay turned down the opportunity.  He declined on the grounds that the Court lacked "energy, weight, and dignity which are essential to its affording due support to the national government."  He added, "Hence I am induced to doubt both the propriety and the expediency of my returning to the bench under the present system." (Source)

What is interesting about Jay's words is that he considered ours to be a "national" government, rather than a federal one, and that he did not want the position of Chief Justice under the "present system," which alludes to his belief that eventually the present system would pass away, and someday the federal court system, as a part of the federal government, would eventually achieve supremacy.

Ironically enough, Adams' second choice, John Marshall, served 36 years as Chief Justice, and was instrumental in subverting the Constitution, and establishing the federal courts, and the federal government in general, as superior over the States, despite the language in the U.S. Constitution which defends State Sovereignty and establishes the federal government as a servant to the States, rather than a ruling authority over the States.

Scalia, I believe, understood this.  The question is, will his replacement?

The odds are better that he, or she, will recognize the proper role of the federal court system if it is a Republican who appoints the next Supreme Court Justice.  Like Jay, the Democrats seek a national system where the federal system is supreme over the States, and the politicians in Washington are a part of a ruling elite and professional politicians, rather than servants and statesmen.

That all said, the Democrats might not be worrying after all.  Think about it.  They got Roberts to cross enemy lines when it came to the Affordable Care Act, and they believe they can do it again.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Obama the Obstructionist - Daily Signal

Fight to Replace Scalia Proves Supreme Court has become too Powerful - Daily Signal

Everything You Need to Know about the Supreme Court after Scalia's Death - Daily Caller

Breaking: Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia Found Dead - Conservative Tribune

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