Obviously, most of the readers of this article prefer that a conservative replace conservative icon Antonin Scalia as the next Supreme Court justice. When you look at the list of conservatives who are on the shortlist of prospective nominees by a Republican president, you can see why the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate should refuse to consider anyone nominated by President Barack Obama.
That list of Obamaists who should be rejected includes Brian Sandoval, the Republican governor of Nevada who is pro-abortion, favors more immigration, and is a RINO on several other issues. Harry Reid, the Dems’ leader in the Senate, loves his fellow Nevadan. Reid’s love and Obama’s apparent decision to put him on his shortlist tell you all you need to know about Sandoval.
A president nominating a Supreme Court justice in a presidential election year is rare for good reason. In fact, justices themselves often stay on the bench until after a presidential election and then retire during the first two years of the next president’s term.
The last five justices to retire — John Stevens, David Souter, Sandra Day O’Connor, Harry Blackmun, Byron White — announced their retirement within the first 18 months of a presidential term.
The last Supreme Court justice to announce his retirement in a presidential election year was Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in 1968. Warren decided to retire so the lame-duck president, Lyndon Johnson, could name his replacement rather than 1968 election favorite Richard Nixon.
Warren, Johnson, and Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas then brokered a deal that led to Johnson nominating Fortas to be the next chief justice. Fortunately, the U.S. Senate rejected Fortas. Warren and Fortas resigned in 1969 and were replaced by Nixon nominees.
Asking a lame-duck president to pick your replacement is ethically wrong. There is no way that Scalia, who passed away on Feb. 13, 2016, at the age of 79, would approve of Obama picking his replacement.
In fact, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal Supreme Court justice since 1993 who will be 83 on March 15, 2016 and has been seriously ill in the past, also apparently doesn’t want Obama to select her replacement.
Presidents have — and should have — the right to nominate people to fill jobs in their Cabinet such as Secretary of State at any time because the next president has the right to fire those same people.
Technically, presidents can nominate prospective Supreme Court justices at any time as well, but the Senate can reject those nominations. The Senate should be more deferential to a president’s choice of a Cabinet official who reports directly to the president than the nomination of a Supreme Court justice who could be a judge for decades.
The bottom line is that the current U.S. Senate should reject anyone Obama nominates so the next president will nominate Scalia’s replacement.
The Republican Shortlist
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of qualified candidates to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court if Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or any other Republican is the next president. The Republican shortlist includes:
* Diane Sykes:
Sykes, 58, is on more shortlists than anyone. During a presidential debate, Trump said he would consider her as Scalia’s replacement. A Milwaukee native, she was a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice from 1999 to 2004 and has been a United States Court of Appeals judge since 2004. The ultraliberal group ThinkProgress called her an ultraconservative in this article so you know she has great respect for the U.S. Constitution. She was also one of five people cited by conservative legal experts as a GOP president’s most likely nominee, reported this ABA Journal article.
* Bill Pryor:
Pryor, 53, was the other prospective Scalia replacement cited by Trump at the Feb. 13 debate. A native of Alabama, Pryor was the attorney general of Alabama from 1997 to 2004 and has since 2004 been a United States Court of Appeals judge. He was also called an ultraconservative by ThinkProgress. According to the ABA Journal article, he called the Roe vs. Wade decision “the worst abomination in constitutional law in history.”
* Brett Kavanaugh:
Kavanaugh, 51, was a co-author of the Kenneth Starr report that led to the President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. The Washington, D.C. native was a high-level legal adviser for President George W. Bush. Since 2006, he has been a United States Court of Appeals judge. Democrats blocked his nomination for three years so he might be really conservative. Like Sykes, he was one of five people on the shortlist mentioned in the ABA Journal article and is one of nine people cited as a possible Mitt Romney selection in this 2012 CNN article.
* Jeffrey Sutton:
Sutton, 55, is the “conservative intellectual force” of the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals according to the CNN article and “one of the young leading lights of the conservative legal movement” according to the ABA Journal article. He’s on the shortlists mentioned in the two articles. Unfortunately, though, he voted for the constitutionality of the Obamacare health care law. Born in Saudi Arabia, he was a teacher and coach in Ohio before going to Ohio State’s law school and becoming a clerk for Scalia.
* David Nahmias:
Nahmias, 51, also clerked for Scalia. A few years earlier, the Atlanta native was an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the same time as Obama. As a Bush Administration Justice Department official from 2001 through 2004, he coordinated the investigations and prosecutions of Al Qaeda terrorists and supervised the counterterrorism section of the Justice Department. Since 2004, he has been a U.S. Attorney in Atlanta and a judge on Georgia’s Supreme Court. This article identifies him as a possible future Supreme Court judge.
* Paul Clement:
Clement, 49, is “one of the best lawyers of his generation,” according to the CNN article. Like Nahmias, the Wisconsin native clerked for Scalia and was a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama. From 2004 to 2008, he was the Solicitor General of the United States — the official who argued the U.S. government’s case in front of the Supreme Court. The CNN article reports that in recent years he has been the conservatives “go-to guy” on gun rights, same sex marriage, and health care reform.
* Mike Lee:
Lee, 44, has been one of Utah’s two senators since 2011. Interestingly, a few articles mention Utah’s other senator, Orrin Hatch, as a possible Supreme Court justice as well, but any president who selects Hatch would be foolish because Utah’s senator turns 82 in March. Lee “may have the best credentials of any lawmaker to be a justice,” according to the CNN article. Lee has been one of the most conservative senators in the nation. Before becoming a senator, he was the assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Utah.
Republican presidents have many other conservatives to choose from. They all would be much, much…………….much better than anyone selected by Obama.