Gonna need a lot more popcorn

scaliacartoon

A few days ago I posted a cartoon about voters watching the presidential campaign wars — popcorn in hand — as though they were binge watching “Game of Thrones.”

And then Saturday Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative justices, died, leaving the court evenly divided with four liberals and four conservatives. As soon as I heard the news I knew it was going to turn the campaign and Washington upside down and inside out. And that’s exactly what’s happened, beginning mere minutes after Scalia’s death was announced. No pausing out of respect for the man or his family. No waiting till after the funeral. No, this was political red meat and everyone, politicians and media alike, pounced like the wolves they are.

Doesn’t matter which side of the political fence you’re on or whether you’re still on the fence. If you’re paying any attention at all you know appointing Supreme Court justices is one of the most important, influential, long-lasting things any president can do and it may well be your litmus test for deciding who gets your vote.

The Dems are arguing that President Obama has the right and constitutional duty (Article II, Section 2) to nominate a replacement and should do so and that the Senate has the right and responsibility to vote yea or nay on that nominee. The Republicans insist that with eleven months remaining in his term, Obama is a lame duck who shouldn’t be allowed to name a replacement. Either way, it has become a major new campaign issue.

And just when I thought this campaign year couldn’t possibly get any more bizarre.

Yep, we’re going to need a lot more popcorn.



Categories: Election 2016, Politics, Supreme Court

30 replies

  1. I have been going through the larger bag regularly this year.

  2. Surely there must be an easier way to run a country!

    Perhaps i should start eating popcorn and drinking a ”Bud”; then sit back, and watch our Yankee cousins tear themselves to pieces! They seem to like doing that for no reason that I can see.

  3. Ya know…pass the sardines and kipper snacks please…President Obama may be a lame duck President but he does have the duty to nominate a Supreme Court Justice and the full Senate has the duty to approve or disapprove that selection..So please let them get this tortoise and hare race in the quick sand started.

    • Here ya go … sardines. kipper snacks … Dunno why the Republicans are getting their panties in such twist. The president will nominate someone. The Senate can and will immediately shoot down the nomination(s). End of story … well, except for the ongoing train wreck of a campaign year, the actual election, the ensuing years, etc.

    • How can these Justices serve ‘Justice’;?

      Surely a Judge sitting in the highest court in the land MUST be totally unbiased/unprejudiced and politically neutral to serve the course of justice impartially for all Americans.

      Their own personal feelings and beliefs should not enter into their considerations /deliberations ever their job is to uphold the law surely; to make it is the privilege of the politicians, such as they are!

      • Ah, Beari, that’s the ideal. That’s the way I used to think it worked. Or ought to work. But in reality there is very little pretense of impartiality. Presidents nominate judges who appear highly qualified but also have the requisite political leanings. (Gotta secure those presidential legacies, ya know.) The appointments are for life, which is intended to protect the justices from retribution for their decisions.

        Alas, the justices are human; they can’t possibly be totally unbiased, unprejudiced, or politically neutral. Nor can they completely divorce themselves from their personal feelings and beliefs. And laws are always subject to interpretation. So one never knows for certain what the court will decide.

      • As a P.S., you might be interested (or horrified) to know that the Constitution does not include any requirements for being a Supreme Court justice. No age, education, profession, or even citizenship requirements. Basically, anybody can be a Supreme Court justice.

  4. The Republicans have always stood in Obama’s way and still have not accepted him as a legitimate leader.
    Scalia’s death is a real blow to them. They will have a hard time justifying their obstructionism now.

    • As far as I’ve noticed, they’ve never bothered to justify their obstructionism…
      😦

    • To me it seems shortsighted for them to spend time and energy railing about delaying the nomination/confirmation when all they have to do is vote down any nomination. Then they can get back to their campaigning. But I suppose they think all their protestations and obstructionism are winning them points with their base (and money from their contributors).

      • In a nutshell, I think the liberally oriented wants judges who believe the constitution is “living” document that doesn’t address fundamental concepts of a citizens personal liberty and that government authority can be increased by virtue of popular notions whereas conservative oriented judges believe the constitution addresses enduring, unchanging fundamental concepts that aren’t changing because of technological or popular opinion changes. That’s why the parties part ways on who gets confirmed.

        • I guess that puts me somewhere in the middle in thinking that the Constitution does indeed establish enduring, fundamental concepts but that those concepts may sometimes need to be (re)interpreted with an eye to changes in society and technology that the Founding Fathers did not anticipate or could not have foreseen. There are, after all, 27 amendments to the original Constitution.

        • We probably both agree that it REQUIRES an amendment to alter a fundamental constitutional concept.

        • Absolutely. SCOTUS just interprets the fine points when somebody questions them … which can lead to some ongoing disagreements about what was originally intended. But such is democracy.

      • A good point. But if they just go back to their campaigning, aren’t they still expending time and energy needlessly, exchanging maximally extreme but completely unrealistic soundbites? I guess at least the Scalia thing has provided new grist for the mill, for a week or so.

  5. This happened once before that in 1960 when the Democrats of the Senate foolishly created a resolution insisting any appointment should be stalled until after the election in a couple of months.
    The poor man – whom everyone swears they respected and adored – was hardly cold when the fight started. Some respect …or maybe the meaning has changed, I give up….

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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