Wednesday, February 17, 2016

R.I.P. Antonin Scalia.

Whether your view of Justice Antonin Scalia is good, bad or indifferent, Justice Scalia himself likely would have paused only briefly in acknowledging his own passing, before commenting with erudition and lucidity on the dynamic of selecting his replacement.

To me, what happens next is relatively simple. It is President Obama's job to nominate a replacement, and the opposition party's prerogative to concur, block or delay the appointment. That's it, and most of what I've heard coming out of mouths seated on both sides of the aisle is forgettable, akin to trash talk on an athletic field. There is a process. It will play out. There may or may not be electoral ramifications. So it goes.

Meanwhile, a few bits of media coverage, for posterity's sake.

As usual, The Onion scores early and often.  

Obama Compiles Shortlist Of Gay, Transsexual Abortion Doctors To Replace Scalia (The Onion)

WASHINGTON—Moving quickly to begin the process of filling the unexpected vacancy on the Supreme Court bench, President Obama spent much of the weekend compiling a shortlist of gay, transsexual abortion doctors to replace the late Antonin Scalia, White House sources confirmed Monday.

Charlie Pierce has an outstanding idea.

A Solution to the Chaos Surrounding the Next Supreme Court Nominee ... Embrace the shitshow, my friends, by Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

I am all-in for total chaos on this whole Supreme Court thing.

If the Republicans are going to invent a new constitutional tradition on the fly, I say the Republic is best served by making them choke on it. Already, Steve M. is pointing out the shitstorm that would break if the president were to nominate Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Mountaineer Mike Tomasky has an interesting suggestion regarding a brilliant young jurist who also would put the GOP deeper in the ha'penny place as regards Hispanic voters. Good. All good. But let me suggest a name as well.

Anita Hill.

In darker territory ...

About that Scalia quote on executing the innocent (A Public Defender)

He didn’t say what’s being attributed to him; he said something far worse.

Finally, what I personally believe to be true. To me, it was not a sign of strength that Republican leaders began public vows of yet another fight over someone's dead body, this time with respect to Justice Scalia's replacement.

Rather, it belies deepening weakness and the party's impending implosion. I may be the only leftist saying this, but I believe even Mitch McConnell will come to see the error of obstruction in this election year... and quickly.

If Republicans block Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, he wins anyway, by Linda Hirshman (Washington Post)

... By Saturday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had already said the vacancy shouldn’t be filled until the next president is in office, 11 months from now. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice,” he said. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

But the GOP might soon reconsider if they see the implications of refusing to allow Obama to replace Scalia: A divided court leaves lower court rulings in place. And the lower courts are blue.

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