It was sad to see Scalia’s death politicized by both sides of the political spectrum within hours of his death, but it wasn’t hard to see why it happened.
Scalia’s death comes month before rulings on cases related to affirmative action, public union dues, abortion clinic restrictions, immigration, contraception, and Obamacare. His passing puts a conservative perspective on such issues at a serious disadvantage when the time comes to make a ruling.
Something seemingly magical then happened: Mitch McConnell grew a backbone and publicly stated that the Senate wouldn’t confirm a new justice until after the election. It sounded too good to be true, and maybe it was.
“I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decision,” Mr. Grassley said Tuesday in a conference call with Iowa radio reporters. “In other words, take it a step at a time.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, North Carolina Republican, voiced caution about blocking any Obama nominee automatically.
“I think we fall into the trap if [we] just simply say, sight unseen, we fall into the trap of being obstructionists,” Mr. Tillis said on Tyler Cralle’s radio show.
But Mr. Tillis added of the president, “If he puts forth someone that we think is in the mold of President Obama’s vision for America, then we’ll use every device available to block that nomination.”
A top aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, responding to Mr. Tillis’ comments, predicted that Mr. McConnell will eventually retreat from his stance of blocking any Obama nominee without a hearing.
As Mr. Obama pushes ahead with plans to nominate a successor to Justice Scalia, more attention is focusing on Attorney General Loretta Lynch, 56, as a possible candidate. Last year, she became the first black woman to hold the nation’s top law enforcement post.
Republicans have (supposedly) been trying to block Obama in the House and Senate for seven years now, and they’re worried about being viewed as obstructionists for blocking a Supreme Court nominee?
Democrats vowed to block Bush from appointing a new Justice in 2007. Republicans should return the favor.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]