Scalia Dead

Antonin Scalia has apparently died. He was one of the most formidable intellects in the history of the Court, returning the interpretation of law to the Constitution and refusing to rewrite the Constitution to conform the political desires of the moment. I disagreed with him sometimes but he was one of the few justices who would occasionally defend civil liberties, most notably in the flag-burning decision. But his conservatism made him despised in liberal circles.

What impressed me about Scalia was his humor, his intellectual vigor and his unwillingness to make the personal political. His best friend on the Court was Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, his ideological opposite.

The balance of the Court is about to shift dramatically. Stay tuned.

Update: I’m tweeting a lot about this. Replacing Scalia is going to be a highly contentious issue. It’s Obama’s duty to nominate someone. It is the Senate’s duty to vet. There’s no reason why the Senate can’t reject someone who is unqualified or too ideological (see Bork, Robert).

I’ll hedge that last one. The Second Amendment is a critical civil liberty. And Scalia was a critical voice upholding it.

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  1. InsipiD

    Replacing a SCOTUS member is always a crap shoot, with conservatives turning to moderates and liberals turning to ridiculous whenever it comes up.  Replacing Scalia with a Sotomayor has long been a dream of libs, and there’s no way this “constitutional scholar” is going to nominate one for the court.

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  2. Iconoclast

    Seems to me, Obama found his copy of the Constitution and the Republicans lost theirs.

    Nonsense.  The Senate is under no obligation to accept a President’s nominee.  None.  Zip. Zero. Nada. End of discussion.

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  3. trade_pro

    No nonsense.

    They don’t have to accept his nominee but he has the right to make the nomination.  Let him nominate who he wants.  They don’t have to approve them.  They can actually make this null and void by just changing the number of Justices.  It doesn’t have to be 9.

    Now its end of discussion.

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  4. Iconoclast

    They don’t have to accept his nominee but he has the right to make the nomination. 

    Which Republican is claiming he doesn’t have the right to make a nomination?  You are claiming that the Republicans “lost” their copy of the Constitution.  Telling the President not to make a nomination is not saying he doesn’t have the right to do so.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    I’ve been tinkering with a post, but the basic gist is: it’s perfectly reasonable for the President to make a nomination. It’s perfectly reasonable for the Republican to reject it.  That’s what “advice and consent of the Senate” means.

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