After the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia over the weekend, a fierce debate erupted over who would occupy his vacancy in the Court. It is the president’s duty to appoint judges to the Supreme Court, however seeing that Obama only has a few months left in his term, Republican lawmakers are urging the president to hold off on appointing a Justice until the next president can do so. This has generated heated opposition from Democrats, as they view the GOP’s calls for a delayed appointment as a political stunt.
Among the Republicans expressing opposition to Obama selecting Scalia’s successor is presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Speaking with George Stephanopoulos earlier this week, Cruz corroborated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statements that the Republicans in the Senate would do anything they could to prevent Obama from appointing a Justice in his last months as president. Cruz said that he would filibuster any nominee that Obama puts forward for a Senate confirmation.
“This should be a decision for the people, George. We’ve got an election. And, you know, Democrats — I cannot wait to stand on that stage with Hillary Clinton or with Bernie Sanders and take the case to the people, what vision of the Supreme Court do you want?
Let the election decide it. If the Democrats want to replace this nominee, they need to win the election.
But you know what, I don’t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I don’t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortion on demand, partial birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification. And I don’t think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of “The Constitution.”
While it is certainly within Obama’s jurisdiction as president to appoint the Justice to succeed Scalia, regardless of the fact that it is approaching the end of his term, he may not be able to pass an appointment given the vehement opposition in the Senate.
Now that Cruz has chimed in on the matter, the topic of Scalia’s successor will inevitably become a hot-button issue in this election cycle. It will be interesting to see how his fellow candidates stand on the matter.
What do you think of Cruz threatening to filibuster any Obama nominee?