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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion oped editorial

EDITORIAL: Can't stop the justice

Illustration by Emily Tatum

After Antonin Scalia’s sudden death, the GOP was abuzz with politics and little thought of grief.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised the majority-Republican Senate would do everything they could to prevent President Obama from appointing a new Supreme Court justice.

This is clearly both an impediment of the Constitution’s appointment clause and of progress in Washington, D.C. in general.

In article two, section two, clause two of the Constitution, the framers gave the president of the United States the power to appoint justices to the Supreme Court with “the advice and consent of the Senate.”

Not only is purposefully blocking a president from making a judicial appointment during an election year unconstitutional, it is also statistically unlikely.

According to the New York Times, the nominees for the court in election years have historically been voted through.

So why should 2016 be any different?

The GOP may hope this is its year to take back the White House and that deferring the decision will help its agenda in the long run.

However, there is no guarantee a Republican will win in November. And if a Democrat wins, will the Senate continue to block any choice the president makes?

That is a huge halt for judicial progress, especially now.

This year has produced many Supreme Court hearings, most notably the Fisher case regarding affirmative 
action.

But also on the slate for 2016 sessions are cases concerning healthcare, voting rights, immigration and abortion. Unless they are able to avoid 4-4 decisions, the remaining eight will need another justice.

Leaving the Supreme Court in gridlock for at least 10 months will create more work for the Court in the long run and will clog up the docket for upcoming sessions.

Clogging the docket may mean rushed decisions, which is not great when we have important cases at stake.

President Obama should not let the Republican Party’s threats to filibuster prevent him from choosing the best possible candidate for the job, regardless of ideological background.

If he chooses a judge with a more moderate ideology, cases might be decided the same way they would if Scalia was still on the bench.

Even members of his staff have claimed Obama may take that course of action, the Times noted.

Whatever path the president chooses to take, it’s important a Court seat is not left vacant until the election, so we can encourage progress and uphold constitutional rights.

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