Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died last Saturday. Now the heated debate is about whether or not President Obama should pursue confirmation of a new justice while in office. The liberals say yes. Conservatives say no.
Well, of course.
Conservatives argue that President Obama is essentially a lame duck president. And that he should leave the appointment to our next president. But that’s not going to happen. It’s unthinkable that the President would remain in office for nine more months without nominating a new Supreme Court Justice. Nominating one is the easy part. Getting that nominee confirmed through a Republican-controlled Congress, however, is the challenge.
What I find so troubling about the heated rhetoric surrounding Scalia’s replacement is what it says about the nation’s highest court. To me, the clear message is that the Supreme Court is in effect, a partisan, judicial body of the highest order.
Mark my words. President Obama will nominate a replacement justice. And his nominee will be left-leaning. If he defers that nomination to the next president (he won’t), and that president happens to be conservative, his appointee will lean to the conservative side. A president will not appoint a justice that diametrically opposes him ideologically. Doing so would make it harder to accomplish his own agenda. That’s why I say our Supreme Court is and shall ever be partisan.
If that is not true, then what’s problem? If presidents can be trusted to nominate Supreme Court justices solely on objective qualifications, it would not matter whether the current or next president makes the needed appointment. But that is not the case and will never be the case. Liberal presidents will nominate liberal justices. And social conservatives will nominate conservative justices. And justices will act mostly along partisan lines.
That’s why so much is riding upon the replacement of Justice Antonin Scalia. It should not be hard to understand why President Obama wants to appoint a more liberal replacement for the super conservative Scalia. I see no president willing to stem the current partisan nature of our nation’s highest court. And I believe this is a tragedy and a disservice to the America people.
No, there is nothing necessarily wrong with a Supreme Court Justice being liberal or conservative. We all lean in one direction or the other. Supreme Court Justices are no exception. But their activity on the highest court must not be blinded by their partisan views. Neither should they attempt to legislate from the bench. Rather, they are charged with interpreting laws and ensuring equal justice under the law for all. This high calling trumps all political boundaries.
One reason I love blogging is that it gives me a platform to minister to the people of God and to weigh in on relevant matters of national importance. I know we love our politics. But I have purposely avoided siding with any political persuasion on this matter. I am a preacher and not a politician. And so I write.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank King. All rights reserved.