The following is a “worst case scenario” thought process. It should be read and taken into consideration as Judicial and Presidential politics collide in America. Remember, this is purely speculation but should be considered when thinking about the current president, the democrats and losing Conservative Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia.
Who benefits most from an energized electorate? That’s the immediate question raised by the death of Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Saturday morning. You think the campaign has been ugly so far? It’s about to get a lot worse, as judicial and presidential politics collapse into each other. I see it unfolding like this:
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Unless he nominates either Ted Cruz or Hillary Clinton—candidates the Senate Republicans would support precisely because of the effect their appointment would have on the election—November will come and go with eight justices on the Court.
But that doesn’t mean Obama plays no role. On the contrary, his role just became extraordinarily important. He will send the Senate a candidate to replace Justice Scalia, as he should. He is the president, after all. Why should he sit on his hands while the Court is at less than full capacity? Then, the failure to act becomes a charge against the Republicans.
But the potency of that charge is not simply to remind everyone that Republicans are the Party of No. Far more importantly, the nominee will become a referendum on the election itself. Because the nominee almost certainly cannot be confirmed, the nomination is primarily a political act. More precisely, it is an exercise in symbolic politics.
And symbols matter in American political life precisely to the extent they can be used to advance competing visions of the future.
To see how this might play out, imagine the president nominates Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to fill Scalia’s seat. She is too . . .
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