Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Calamity for Our Republic: Justice Antonin Scalia Dies

He was the bedrock on which our Constitution rested. Now what?

Justice Antonin Scalia with President Ronald Reagan. 
Antonin Scalia, the most senior Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court died overnight in Texas at a hunting ranch. He had been hunting and attended a party but went to bed early not feeling well. Full story here.

You cannot overstate the loss to the Court and to the Nation by his passing. His steadfast and unwavering defense of the U.S. Constitution defined the very essence of what a Justice on the Supreme Court SHOULD be all about.

Over the coming days there will be many tributes to his tireless work, his sense of humor and his shining intellect. I'll start with the statement by Texas Governor Greg Abbot:
Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
An excerpt from the statement by Texas Senator Ted Cruz:
He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning.
Battle Stations!

Unfortunately, Scalia's passing cannot simply be a time for mourning and reflection. Key issues before the Supreme Court include Obama's constitutional overreach on climate change and immigration among others. If Obama were successful in confirming another very liberal justice in the mold of Sotomayor or Kagan the entire balance of the Court might shift for a generation. But to stop that from happening would require the Republican establishment in the U.S. Senate to do more than talk tough and only take symbolic action. Symbolism is not enough for an issue of this magnitude.

Already the battle lines within the Republican Party are being formed.
Excerpt from statement of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President."
Expect to hear our liberal friends charge that it's wrong for the Senate to block Obama's nominee suggesting that it tampers with his consitutional powers to appoint. But that power to nominate does NOT mean the Senate must agree. Check and balances my friends. CHECKS AND BALANCES. I know that's become a foreign concept under Obama but it's about time we remembered how important it is!

God Bless Scalia. God Save Our Republic!

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