Should a Supreme Court nominee be confirmed this election year?


The Supreme Court since its existence began has been involved with making decisions on controversial issues and in making those decisions the philosophy of the individuals serving has played a role. Philosophy should be a consideration when holding confirmation hearings for vacancies on the Court. The recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia has sparked a controversy as to who should nominate and individual to replace him and whether the Senate should hold hearings before a new President is inaugurated. Justice Scalia was an individual of high integrity and a firm supporter of the Constitution. Any individual who is nominated regardless of when this nomination is presented to the Senate they must be properly reviewed to determine if their positions on the issues in which they have been involved reflect constitutional values. It should not be about philosophy but honoring the Constitution and the rights we have engrained within it.

Individuals currently serving on the court and those who will be serving on the court in the future should put aside their philosophy and make decisions based on the content of the Constitution not their interpretation. Each aspect of the Constitution has a purpose and the reason for each amendment or approach to topics can be found in many if not all of the Federalists papers. If any justice on the court wishes to know the intent of the language in the Constitution involving issues before the court they only need to review the applicable federalist paper.

The process of nominating for a vacancy on the Supreme Court is a simple one at least in the beginning. The President has the right to nominate an individual to fill a vacancy on the court for any reason whether it is the result of a death as in Justice Scalia or a decision to retire. Once this is done the Senate has the responsibility to hold hearings for any nominee but the Constitution does not place a time frame for any confirmation hearings to be conducted.

The Supreme Court is an equal branch of the federal government and individuals are placed on the court for their lifetime to avoid political pressure to make decisions one way or another.

The political party in power/control of the Senate has a different approach to holding confirmation hearings when they are not in power. The current vacancy with the death of Justice Scalia has found the party not in control making statements that individuals being considered by President Obama should receive a confirmation hearing before a new President is elected. The claim is that the Senate should act on the nomination expected to be presented to the Senate but when they were in power their position was different when a Republican was in the White House.

This is an election year and with the current anger of the American people based on recent polls and election results the public is not happy with what decisions and/or actions being taken or not taken with the federal government. This involves not only Congress but the Executive Departments and their agencies. The path our country is on is not one with which the public appears to be satisfied and they have a right to impact who will be nominated to replace Justice Scalia. It is felt this decision should be by the newly elected President and the current feeling of the Senate leadership and several of the GOP candidates have clearly stated no such confirmation hearing or vote should be conducted until a new President is elected and makes that choice.

The Senate is a co-equal branch of government and has a constitutionally prescribed role in the judicial confirmation process – advice and consent. Our judicial system is a critical element in our form of government and judges are appointed for life as previously mentioned. The next Supreme Court judge which will be confirmed at some point will greatly impact the decisions to be made on sometimes controversial issues before the court. From reports the court is evenly divided between liberals and conservatives and the public has a right to be involved in who will be submitting a nomination to the court. The new justice to the court will impact decisions for years to come and if the wrong individual is placed on the court it could impact our rights as engrained in the Constitution. Currently we the people have seen a philosophy where government is not supporting the people but the people are supporting the government which is contrary to the purpose of a central government as defined by our founding fathers. We need to get back to a constitutional government and a new justice to the Supreme Court could impact whether this change will take place.

Being nominated to serve on the Supreme Court is a big deal and as such the Senate as identified in the Constitution has a responsibility to advise and consent regarding a nominee to the Supreme Court and any federal judge position. The process should not be one of a routine nature given the impact any judge can have on cases before him/her. The problem we have seen in many cases is that judges are legislating from the bench. It is important for the Senate to examine any nominee to determine if the history of decisions point to legislating from the bench or making decisions in support of the Constitution rather than their interpretation. We need a justice to replace Justice Scalia who will honor the Constitution in the decisions he or she will make regarding cases presented to the court. It is important to understand that the Supreme Court is not required to accept every case submitted to it but when conflicting decisions exist by various judges in our judicial system the Supreme Court must or should weigh in on which decision is correct.

It is unknown what will transpire regarding the cases pending before the court at this time but there should be some consideration as to what the decision would have been if Justice Scalia were still serving. There are controversial issues before the court from several reports which will impact our rights as citizens under the Constitution. From what has been reported immigration, freedom of religion and whether individuals who are not in a union should be required to pay union dues are examples of what are considered controversial issues.


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Comments 25 comments

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

We need to follow the constitution and not tweak it for political purposes. All those republicans who are so certain the second amendment gives everyone the right to own any kind of killing machine on the market can't possibly suggest a change concerning filling a vacant court seat - at least not with a straight face.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

The President has a right to nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia but it should be up to the Senate to approve or deny his appointment based on merit. I never like the fact that a lame duck president is prevented from doing his job. That being said, I think President Obama made a terrible decision by not attending Scalia's funeral. He let his politics get the best of him. A president should serve all the people and represent all of us in honoring a justice who has served over 30 years on the high court. He created controversy where there should have been none. How small a person.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

He sent VP Biden, who is a Catholic, and good friends with the Scalia family. And if you are suggesting that presidents serve all people, that's not true in the least. At best, they serve half. The other half just has to suffer through their administration. EVERY time a Republican gets in, women are demoted to second class. They now want to ban Muslims from America......is that serving all Americans? Pullllleaaaaaze


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

lovemychris, since when did women gets demoted to second class? It is under the Obama Administration that women and all other demographics have lost on jobs, and wages... wise up and don't let your bias cloud your judgement. Under Democrat control, we see what is happening in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and even NYC...


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 9 months ago Author

To those who have commented on this hub I appreciate you taking time to read and provide input. If you look at history both political parties and sometimes Presidents have created political situations where there should be none. I understand the content of the comments. One thing to remember it is Congress who is the check and balance on the executive department. Confirming a justice on the Supreme Court at this point in our country will impact decisions on controversial issues for years to come. Granted not all decisions made by the Supreme Court has received positive feedback but the public has a right to have their voices heard in this instance.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

Exactly. There already is a 5 to 4 bias towards conservatives. Add one more, and we on the liberal side have NO voice there. It will be 6 to 4 conservative. 1/2 the people will be silenced.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

You know what I mean. We need objective, not reactionary justice this time.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

Lovemychris, you have to be honest with yourself. Can you say the last 7 years of Supreme Court rulings have been biased to the right or have they been even? If it is what you claim, how did the ACA passed? Especially when 60 % of the American people reject it. That is just one example.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Funny how people like Kathleen taut the constitution only when they think it is on their side and ignore it when it supports their opposition. The constitution gives the senate all the right to vote or not have a vote on an Obama apptment to the SC. To do so doesn't keep Obama from nominating someone, his constitutional right so there is no issue here to discuss except that if Obama actually cared more about the country than his agenda he'd nominate a SCJ that the Senate, the most recently elected representatives of The People of this nation could approve of and not a left wing judicial activist which you know it will be.

The country doesn't want more of that and if he thinks it does, well then let the next Democrat president bring it on, what's the worry?


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

"Senate Republicans announced today that they would refuse to consider any candidate nominated by President Obama for the Supreme Court. The Constitution gives the Senate the right to offer advice and consent on Court nominees. The two bodies have frequently quarreled over just how much power each is entitled over a nomination. Sometimes, senators have granted presidents wide latitude. At other times, they have insisted on forcing the president to nominate a jurist with mainstream views. But never before in American history has the Senate simply refused to let the president nominate anybody at all simply because it was an election year."

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 9 months ago Author

lovemychris

Thanks again for providing your perspective. From what I understand there is a precedent regarding nominations to the Supreme Court. From reports in an election year nominations to the Supreme Court were never processed by the Senate. In another fact nominations by President Bush to judges positions were blocked by the Democrats from what I understand the total was 37. The Senate has the right to make the decision about when hearings or confirmations should be initiated. In this election year a new president will be elected and he/she has the right to decide which individual should be nominated to fill the vacancy.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

Sorry, but i disagree. We already elected the president that has the right to do that. The fact that this decision is being nullified is nothing new. His whole presidency had been, along with my vote. Its abundantly clear to me that this is no gvt of the people. When the prez has his duties stripped away because hes a Democrat, its clearly a gvt for Republicans only. Boooo

And ty for being kind


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Show me where in the constitution it says the Senate does not have the right to not vote on the President's nomination. See this is exactly what I said, liberals never cite the constitution if it goes against their wishes only when it supports what they want to do and more proof of this is that when the Democrats wanted to oppose Bush's nominations some of the best arguments defending the Senate’s right to act or not act on judicial nominees have been made by leading liberals serving in the Senate – Vice President Biden, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer, and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy.

When these men were U.S. Senators and faced judicial nominations from the opposing party’s President, they articulately laid out the compelling constitutional basis for the Senate to hold no hearings and no votes as part of its broad “advice and consent” power.

Kathleen and LMC are nothing more than duplicitous shills for anyone sho is a liberal.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

Did you catch what Joe Biden said on this very topic? Last I heard, he is a Democrat.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

"Funny how people like Kathleen taut the constitution only when they think it is on their side and ignore it when it supports their opposition."

I love it when people refer to me as "people like Kathleen". Show me a quote from anything I've ever written where I've ignored the constitution. Referring to "people like" anybody is easy to write. How about backing it up with concrete examples of your accusations?


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Are you kidding? read your own comment here...

"We need to follow the constitution and not tweak it for political purposes...can't possibly suggest a change concerning filling a vacant court seat - at least not with a straight face."

Nobody is tweaking the constitution, you clearly try to make a case it is not constitutional for the Senate to not hold a vote on an appointment...you don't see what you said in your own comment? Strange but liberals often do this.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

They don't have to hold a vote. Advise and consent. Read the constitution. And try to make a point without attaching a label. It weakens your argument.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

That's what I'm saying, they don't have to according to the constitution, you said they "can't possibly suggest a change concerning filling a vacant court seat" They aren' suggesting any change, they ARE following the constitution. If you read the comments here you'd know some of the best arguments defending the Senate’s right to act or NOT ACT on judicial nominees have been made by leading liberals serving in the Senate – Vice President Biden, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer, and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy.

I made my argument three times now without attaching any labels but can't resist just pointing out your duplicity which strengthens, not weakens my point, their is no argument.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

WOW--so you listen to Dems now? That's a new one. How long will that last, LOLOL. AS usual, all u can do is insult. Good Xtian that you are....no hate huh? Ive felt buckets of hate from Christians here, whether they call it love if that's love who needs it?

“The arguments that they are making – that this is a matter of principle – are nonsense,” said Michael Dorf, professor of constitutional law at Cornell Law School. “It’s just that they politically want some different kind of nominee.”

Within two hours of official word about Scalia’s death, the Republican leadership was quick to draw its line in the sand, led by the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next supreme court justice,” McConnell said in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

The American people do have a voice, said Dorf. “It’s through President Obama and the current Senate. If they lack legitimacy to do this, how do they have legitimacy to do all sorts of other things that have long-term consequences?”

*******

Good question. And the answer is this: Since day 1, they have been waiting for my choice to be gone. Treated him horribly, done nothing but obstruct him, make fun of him, call him names.

They promised jobs to get House and Senate, and delivered anti-abortion and anti-voting legislation.

They are waiting to scam another Repub in there so they will have House, Senate and prez. Then they will get their nominee on Court, and it will be 2000-2006 all over again.

War w Iran, many more people locked up, Roe v Wade repealed, Citizens United strengthened, tax cuts for rich made permanent, and voting more like a privilege than a right. Repeal of the ACA, back to no healthcare for most, only those with money can live.

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If you cant see it: it's the same BS all over again!


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Yeah, LMC you aren't a paranoid victim are you, it's everybody else.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

I have no power but my vote, and if that doesn't matter: just stop the ridiculous farce.

We voted Obama...after 2 terms of Bush. We've been stymied and played dirty by these rich goons.

It's no gvt of the people, when the people's vote means nothing.

Just fine by me. You will receive same treatment in return.

Any Republican coming near me deserves nothing but the middle finger, cause that's what youz gave me.

Youz SA Youz SA. No thanks. Ever again.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

You never discuss any issue! as soon as whatever you said is shown to be uninformed blabber, all you do is complain and whine how badly you've been martyred by all the evil Republicans, or anyone who doesn't agree with your insane world views. Don't you ever get tired of that routine because I have to tell you everyone else on earth who has suffered it is very tired of it.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

I'm tired of you! Always giving leeway to anything Republicans do, always damming to he'll anything democrat. If Bush was prez, and dems said he had no right to nominate justice, there'd be no end to the tears! Look how bad it is simply because youz lost . Hate to tell you, world nor USA revolves around Republican party.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 9 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

That's another thing, you lie about what people have said, I have been critical of other Republicans especially Bush but unless someone agrees with your criticism of a republican your way you don't even notice. You need help.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 9 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

Critical of Bush? By saying justice was done? That's not critical, that's an apologist. Tell me you would be OK if Bush was prez and Dems told HIM he didn't matter. You'd call them America haters, move to Cuba!

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