Friday, August 12, 2022

The Socialist’s Journal: The Scalia Controversy

Brookins Head Shot

*There really isn’t much to see here.

It sounds like there is a real issue because Republicans have been urging President Obama to neglect his duty in nominating a Justice to replace the deceased Antonin Scalia. And this has sparked much debate regarding their stance.

But really why would anyone have expected something different to happen?

Every initiative Obama has proposed has been jeered by Congressional Republicans. Each time he speaks on behalf of an issue, they speak out against it. Republican politicians have automatically opposed Obama at every turn so even if they are a bit out in front of things on this issue, their position should have been expected.

On the other hand Obama has always done what he could and should within the boundaries of his office. So it would be surprising if he didn’t nominate someone for the Supreme Court. I am not making a value judgment. It is quite ordinary for presidents to propose legislation, peak on behalf of policies they like or agree with, and forward names for federal judgeships. Congressional leaders of the opposite party regularly oppose everything that the president says and does.

Whoever Obama would have nominated would have left a bad taste in the mouth of Congressional Republicans whether this happened three months into his term or three months until the end of his term. The only thing halfway new is that they are suggesting that he shouldn’t fulfill his Constitutional duty to select a Supreme Court Justice.

When Obama chooses a name for the Judiciary Committee to consider, and when they find fault in Obama’s nominee, and when they try to delay until the next President is inaugurated, no one will be surprised. But that would have happened whether Congressional Republicans made any of these statements in the last week or not. Their honesty is refreshing; their stance should have been expected.

And in truth if the shoe was on the other foot, Democrats (even if they expressed it differently) would be following a similar course of action.

Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War.  His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.





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