Obama May Be About To Appoint A Supreme Court Justice EVEN IF Republicans Won’t Cooperate
Following quickly on the heels of the sad news of Justice Scalia’s death, the political jockeying has begun. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says no successor will be confirmed this year, while President Obama says he will appoint or nominate someone before his term ends. The question is; will the President try to do it under the cover of night while the Senate is in recess or whether he will go the generally used route of Senate confirmation. And will the Senate hold firm to what McConnell said or will it fold to Obama’s wishes? What do you think of this situation?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed not to confirm a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but some Republicans worry that President Obama could install a replacement anyway.
“We’re in recess, so Obama can, in theory, appoint someone,” a senior GOP aide told the Washington Examiner. “He could appoint [Vice President Joe] Biden tonight if he wanted to.”
Obama wouldn’t be the first president to use a recess appointment to place a justice on the high court. There are have been 12 justices appointed to the Supreme Court while the Senate was in recess. Dwight Eisenhower was the last president to use that power — he did so three times, according to Scotusblog.
Obama used the recess power aggressively in the past. In January of 2012, he appointed three people to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not officially in recess due to pro forma sessions. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in NLRB v. Noel Canning that those appointments are unconstitutional because the Senate, by it’s own rules, was not in session at the time the appointments were made.
But that’s not the case now. The Senate is scheduled to be in recess until Feb. 22, giving Obama nine days to mull the idea. If Obama were to pursue that route, Republicans likely would argue that the Senate was out of session for too short a time for Obama to take advantage of the recess appointment power.
This issue seems to be breaking down into party lines with Democrats defending the President’s right to appoint a (no doubt Liberal) new justice during the remainder of his lame duck term, and Republicans noting that it isn’t generally done that way and insisting on waiting for the election to be over so the new President can appoint someone. One thing is for sure, we do not need another Liberal on the court. As Ted Cruz said in last night’s debate; we are only one justice away from a whole lot of destructive Supreme Court decisions. What do you think?
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