“It” being the U.S. Senate’s “tradition” of needing 60 votes to defeat a presidential nominee brought before the Senate for confirmation (or not).
Background, in case you’ve been away from a news source these past three days: Antonin Scalia passed this last Saturday. He was a great legal thinker, a stickler for interpreting cases in the light of the actual Constitution, as understood by the framers. As an originalist, Justice Scalia stood in stark contrast to those who fancied rights and philosophies completely absent from the foundation of our laws. R.I.P.
And now begins the struggle to replace Justice Scalia. The president, of course, has the constitutional right to do so any time there is a vacancy. The current president, with less than a year to go in his term, would doubtless prefer to nominate a left-wing jurist. Bonus points to Obama for naming any of the preferred minorities (white, heterosexual men need not apply).
But I jest. In all seriousness, given the second-raters who have been appointed to the Supreme Court by Obama (Sotomayor, the “wise Latina,” and Kagan, the lesbian lefty), it is time that Republicans in the Senate discover that they were born with spines. Time to use those spines and stand tall against serial violator of separation of powers Obama.
The left has already started screeching. How dare Republicans stand in the way of the Numinous One? Don’t they realize that they have a constitutional obligation to confirm whomever the president appoints? Well, so long as it’s not a Republican president. Here is Senator Schumer on President Bush’s potential nominees for the Court in 2007.
Sorry, Dems. The Senate is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive. They have a constitutional duty to advise and consent. Or not.
If there is a problem with overcoming the need for 60 votes to shut down an Obama nominee, my advice to the Republicans in the Senate comes down to two words: Nuclear Option.
No, not nuking the site from orbit. It’s going to simple majority rules in the U.S. Senate if that’s what it takes to defeat another left-wing appointment by lame-duck Obama to the Supreme Court.
It’s what you do if you need to secure the greater good for the nation. The benefit? The very real chance to get a sound originalist on the Court if a Republican is elected president this year.
Against this very real benefit, what is lost is a bit of non-constitutional Senate “tradition.” Boo-hoo. The Dems showed no restraint when it suited them. They abandoned the 60-vote “tradition” when it suited them to confirm appellate judges.
Politics ain’t beanbag; let’s give it back to them in spades. Seems a fair trade to me.