Thursday, February 18, 2016

Indiana's Two Senators on Replacing Justice Scalia; Who's the Constitutionalist Here?

Indiana's two senators hold very different views of how the replacement of Justicice Scalia should be accomplished. As reported by Terre Haute Trune Star, Republican Senator Dan Coats says, “Our country is in the middle of a highly consequential presidential election. The American people should determine their next Supreme Court justice by their votes in November.” It is worth noting that the American people voted twice to give Barack Obama the constitutional authority to name Supreme Court justices by voting for him for president. Coats goes on to suggest that the Presiendent has somehow disqualified himself from that constitutional authority: “I think this president has disqualified himself from nominating someone. Yes, he has that right, but for someone who has blatantly broken the constitutional power and, it has been so blatant, it just adds to the political motivation. He’s not going to send someone up there that has an objective that we can trust.” Setting aside his specious claim about the President's blatant disregard of Constitutional law that he taught at the University of Chicago, we'd note that the President's previous two Supreme Court nominees had bipartisan support and have been well regarded as jurists.

On the other hand, Democrat Joe Donnelly calls on the Senate to "fulfill its Constitutional duty." In the interview below he says, “Filling the position is the constitutional obligation of the president. I expect that President Obama will bring forth a nominee and my constitutional obligation is to review that nomination, to ask questions and vote on it. I plan to do my job.”

Which of these positions adheres better the Constitution that Justice Scalia spent his career defending as he thought appropriate?