If you want to know what I felt about last night’s GOP presidential debate, I felt it was the worst debate yet. It was an immature and petulant display of ugliness and talking points. I must admit, Ohio Gov. John Kasich came off as the only adult on that stage. I was truly turned off by the unaccomplished first-term senators, whose little you-don’t-speak-Spanish moment did not impress. Donald Trump didn’t impress me at all, especially after his declaration of running a positive campaign. And I would advise Mr. Trump to stop referring to those of us who served in Iraq, lost friends and loved ones, as part of a mistake. That doesn’t bode well for a fella who had several deferments from serving in Vietnam. Dr. Ben Carson was there, but was rendered irrelevant. Governor Bush, well, he needs a Hail Mary performance in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is another reminder of just how much is at stake currently for our republic. Justice Scalia’s strong constitutional voice will be missed on our Supreme Court. We need to remember that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is not about making law — judicial activism — it is about interpreting the law of the land and applying it to cases. The law of this land is our Constitution, and we can’t afford to have judges who make decisions based on societal and political whims and ideologies. I’m still awaiting someone to bring forth a case making the 14th Amendment equal protection clause applicable to the Second Amendment. After all, it seems in the case of same-sex marriage, the SCOTUS decided it could create a new “right” and use the 14th Amendment to force states into compliance.
This is what happens when man replaces the Creator as the grantor of unalienable rights, when man steps in and believes he can guarantee happiness and not allow us to pursue our own individual happiness. I have shared with y’all that civil unions would have solved the entire issue. We don’t need courts deciding and instituting laws in America. And that, Ladies and Gents, is what’s now at stake, the fundamental philosophy of what is the mission of our courts.
Now, here are some key points to consider about how and when Justice Scalia’s successor is likely to be selected — and how the process is likely to influence this year’s critical presidential election.
First of all, the last time the SCOTUS operated with eight justices was before the 20th century, so I don’t see that happening. What could happen is President Obama seeks to use a recess appointment to fill the SCOTUS vacancy. However, based on his last venture with recess appointments, he may not want to take that course of action.As reported in the Washington Examiner: 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 its 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. But the Supreme Court has never said exactly how long a recess must be for the president to make recess appointments.
Here’s a perceived conundrum for President Obama. If he decides to take “executive action” and use the recess appointment path to fill the SCOTUS vacancy, it could be a political tipping point in this presidential election cycle. The rallying cry would be that the new Socialist party of the United States, formerly known as the Democrat party, cannot have control of two of the branches of government — and for you progressive socialists who may not be aware, there are actually three: executive, legislative and judicial.
With the 9-0 ruling against Obama’s last recess appointment endeavor, the optics wouldn’t be in his favor. However, Obama will be pushed by the progressive socialist left to do just that — a recess appointment — especially in this nine-day window, unless Senate Majority Leader McConnell calls the Senate back into session.
As for Senator McConnell, this is a test of his will. Coming off the passing of the Omnibus spending bill, he needs to show some determination and will to make a stand. There’s much at stake.
If McConnell does as he declared yesterday, and delays any movement on filling the SCOTUS vacancy until after a new president is elected — basically deferring judgment to the American people in November — he wins. But more importantly, the much-maligned GOP Congressional leadership wins — aka, the GOP establishment. Politically, they need some wind at their backs, something that inspires confidence in them — not just the typical acquiescence many have come to expect from the GOP leadership.
We’ve already witnessed President Barack Obama take many unconstitutional actions. Likewise, we’ve seen Senator Harry Reid and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi take many nefarious actions to advance their far-left socialist agenda, like passing a massive domestic legislative measure like Obamacare without a single hint of bipartisan support.
Let’s be honest, remember the hearings for SCOTUS nominee Robert Bork? Recall the hell Clarence Thomas endured? Or how about this story from the Washington Post, from August 28, 2007:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, one of President Bush’s closest confidants and a key architect of his controversial counterterrorism policies, announced yesterday that he is quitting after seven months of bitter confrontation with Congress over his honesty and his competence to run the Justice Department.
His resignation, submitted Sunday to President Bush and disclosed yesterday, removes one of the nation’s most controversial attorneys general since the Watergate era. He will leave behind a Justice Department battered by allegations that partisan politics has infected its law enforcement mission.
Funny, in retrospect, Alberto Gonzales was nowhere near as divisive, controversial and criminal as one Eric Holder. Holder’s Operation Fast and Furious resulted in the loss American U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s life. So I’m not buying any junk from the liberal left about the GOP being obstructionists or “racists” for blocking Obama. Down south we would refer to those assertions as “the pot calling the kettle black.”
At the end of the day, this all comes down to politics and optics. And with the history of how the Democrats have acted toward GOP judicial nominees and the unconstitutional actions of one Barack Obama — neither politics or optics are in their favor on this matter.