In his dissent to the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges which upheld a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, Antonin Scalia made a statement that would make one wonder if the man had been unknowingly been looking in a mirror: “Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall,” he wrote.Few on the Court exhibit more hubris than did Scalia, who sought to force his anti-modernity, anti-minority, and special rights for right wing Christians on the nation. The Onion accurately ran the headline "Justice Scalia Dead Following 30-Year Battle With Social Progress." Indeed, under Scalia's insane "originalist" approach to the U.S. Constitution, slavery should still exist, women should not have the vote - the Constitution would be locked in the rights and knowledge of 1788.
Now, Republicans who are as much at war with modernity and social progress are threatening to block any Obama replacement to the high court, leaving the Court paralyzed for a year or more. There goal would be to save the appointment for whichever occupant of the GOP clown car they hope will win the presidential election in November - not exactly the type of conduct that the Founders would have approved of. They hypocrisy of it all is delicious or sickening depending upon the degree of one's cynicism. Mother Jones looks at the GOP batshitery. Here are excerpts:
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday, leaving a vacancy on the highest court nine months before Election Day. That should leave President Barack Obama plenty of time to find a qualified replacement to succeed Scalia. But within minutes of the announcement that Scalia had died, prominent conservatives began demanding that no new justice be confirmed until after Obama's presidency ends next year. In essence, they want the Republican-controlled Senate to block any nomination that Obama might send it. And leading this charge was Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate. In a tweet, Cruz declared, "Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement." Soon after that, Sen. Marco Rubio, another presidential wannabe, said the same.This is a quickly spreading right-wing meme. . . . . conservatives demanding government obstruction to deny Obama the chance to fulfill his constitutional duty . . . . Look forward to this issue—when to fill Scalia's slot and who should appoint his successor—becoming a major fight in the presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the judiciary committee, issued this statement: "I hope that no one will use this sad news to suggest POTUS should not perform its [sic] constitutional duty." He was a little late with that.
Piling onto the effort to subvert the Constitution and the division of powers, the always foul Mitch McConnell wants to "leave the selection to the American people - the same American people who the Republicans and their failed policies have been screwing over for the last three decades. This from the Washington Post:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) fired back in a statement that spending an entire year without considering Obama's nomination to replace Scalia is unprecedented.
"It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat," he said. "Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate's most essential Constitutional responsibilities."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to say just that in a statement Saturday night. "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," his statement read. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
All of this underscores the importance of the Democrats nominating a candidate who can win in November and blunt the Republican effort to drag the nation backward in time and revive the worse abuses of the Gilded Age.