If you take establishment Republican and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at his word, the Senate will not consider Barack Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. If you are willing to give establishment Republican and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley the benefit of the doubt, his committee will “defer to the American people who will elect a new President to select the next Supreme Court nominee.”
Conservatives would be wise to take with a grain of salt anything these pillars of the Republican establishment might say. Still, whether Scalia’s replacement is decided this year or after the Presidential election, one thing is certain. All three branches of government – the executive, legislative and judicial -- will be on the ballot November 8. With the sudden passing of Justice Scalia, the stakes in November just got a lot higher.
After all, conservatives never had reason to worry that Scalia would go the way of justices like Harry Blackmun and David Souter, both nominated by establishment Republican presidents. Instead, Justice Scalia was a champion of strictly interpreting the Constitution in keeping with what the Founding Fathers intended. He argued brilliantly against liberal judges who believe in a “living” Constitution that must change with the times. The idea that the Constitution means what it says was the foundation of every ruling and dissent from Justice Scalia. He didn’t win every battle, but he was steadfast in fighting the bloc of Supreme Court liberal justices from infringing on the Bill of Rights.
Along with defeating the Soviet Union once and for all, President Ronald Reagan’s greatest legacy was naming Antonin Scalia to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now that he is gone, the Constitution is left hanging by a thread.
The nation is one liberal justice away from the Supreme Court telling Americans that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms no longer exists. One liberal justice away from approving Obama’s lawless amnesty. One liberal justice away from the widespread practice of gruesome partial-birth abortion. And one liberal justice away from banning courthouses from displaying the Ten Commandments.
If the Senate does not confirm Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, the next President will name his or her choice. And that’s just for openers. Given the advanced age of liberal Justice Ruth Ginsburg, her retirement sometime in the next few years is possible if not likely. Even with only two justices to replace, the next President will have enormous leverage to shift the direction of the Supreme Court for decades to come. The importance of that cannot be overstated.
No one should question where America is headed in the event a President Hillary Clinton or a President Bernie Sanders is the one filling those vacancies. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that if current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump becomes the next President, he will name Supreme Court justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia. Trump has yet to make the case for the kind of justice he would nominate, except to say his sister, federal judge and partial-birth abortion advocate Maryanne Trump Barry, would make a “phenomenal” choice for the high court. Trump voters should think carefully about the implications of that comment.
Moreover, every conservative and Republican voter should have foremost in mind all three branches of government on the ballot this November. If the next President turns the Supreme Court sharply away from what Antonin Scalia stood for, the damage will be nearly unimaginable. Yes, that is what’s REALLY at stake on November 8.