Thoughts On The Death Of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

chapman.0830 - 08/29/05 - A Supreme Court headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has questions for Chapman University Law School professor John Eastman as he and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue the 1905 ''Lochner v. State of New York'' case during a re-enactment Monday afternoon at Chapman University. (Credit: Mark Avery/Orange County Register/ZUMA Press)

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court’s most adamant, eloquent, controversial and influential conservative jurist and one of the most important theorists in the institution’s history,  died today, unexpectedly, on a ranch near San Antonio while on a hunting holiday. He was 79.

Reflections:

1.  I had a beer with the Justice at a bar function a long, long time ago, after entertaining the assembled legal heavyweights. He was friendly, funny, and gregarious, and when I asked him if he would be on the Supreme Court for the rest of his life, he said, “God, I hope not!”

2. While everyone will be saying that this ups the ante in the Presidential race, that’s impossible. The importance of the election couldn’t be  greater. The vacancy Scalia’s death creates, unfortunately,will  increase the level of demagoguery from both parties, with the appointment of Scalia’s replacement being elevated to the equivalent of a life and death matter obliterating all other considerations. Anyone who argues that will be exposing their true status as a hack, appealing to hysterics, ignoring te ethical value of proportion. The composition of the Court is important, but it is not that important.

3. What is most important to the Court, and has been lost since Robert Bork became the first qualified judge to be blocked by pure partisan considerations despite undeniably outstanding qualifications, is to have smart, able, proven justices. Scalia was such a jurist.

4 .One of the traits of a qualified jurist is a refusal to pre-judge any issue or case before hearing arguments and knowing all the facts. Several of the current justices, including Scalia, have been sucked into the bitter partisan battles of this era and have made comments that called this trait into question.

5. Scalia was the longest tenured justice, and probably stayed too long, as have several of his surviving colleagues. It is a demanding job, and though seniors deny it, being a judge is like being a baseball player: even the greatest ones who are better than most younger players long after their prime have past are still not as good as they used to be. Age diminishes us all:  in Scalia we could see it in increasingly nasty and bitter dissents, and increasingly imprudent commentary off the bench. I don’t believe there should be a mandatory retirement date, but I do think judges at all levels should accept that part of their duty to justice is to leave the bench before they start to slip, not after. Nino told ne years ago that he wanted to leave the Court before he had to. He was right then.

6. No SCOTUS Justice within memory was more viciously attacked by ideological foes—well, other than Clarence Thomas. Too many of those critics never read a single one of Scalia’s opinions, and if they did, they wouldn’t understand it.

7. The sudden revelation of Scalia’s mortality should focus renewed attention on the wisdom of entrusting vital government power with the rapidly aging and aged. Perhaps we will learn that Scalia had some secret and fatal malady, but absent that, nobody thought his demise was imminent. The fact is that once one is over 75, all bets are off, for anybody. The attenuated ages of so many leading candidates for the 2016 election—Trump, Clinton and Sanders—really deserves attention, and it is irresponsible to ignore it.

8. Let’s see which progressive pundit or website shows its ugly side in reacting to Antonin Scalia’s death. He gave half a century to public service and the law, and few have served longer or with more distinction. Anyone who can’t rise above partisan differences to  give him the final respect he earned will be revealed as petty and small.

9. President Obama would be prudent and wise to announce that the vacancy will be filled by the next President. If he insists on the theater of appointing his own, making that poor judge, whoever it is, the center of a pre-election circus when confirmation is impossible, then it will be yet another example of this President being divisive for political expediency.

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would not hold a vote on any President Obama-appointed replacement this year. “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,” McConnell said in a statement.

UPDATE 2: Naturally, the President announced that he would send a DOA nomination to the Senate anyway.

 

 

226 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Death Of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

  1. “President Obama would be prudent and wise to announce that the vacancy will be filled by the next President.”

    Anyone want to bet on this?

    Scalia will be missed. He was by no means the biggest age problem the Court has. I’d like to believe there is as good a choice out there of any age who has a change of getting confirmed, but I don’t.

      • But Obama is going to pick a divisive fight anyway, because that’s what he does. Geico should base one of its new ads on it. Never mind that it will roil the politician landscape, cause partisan clashes, waste Congressional time, and set off a thousand demogogues. But it will give new life to Hillary’s “I will fight against the Republicans trying to take over women’s bodies and remove everything we’ve gained…” Ugh. A year of that, just to scare and anger some more potential Democrats and get them to the polls. That’s our Barack. And the chance of his nominee being confirmed—because he won’t even consult with GOP leaders and try to make a moderate choice with a snowball’s chance in hell of getting through, is zip. He’ll just tie up some poor hard left judge all year, as a sacrifice to political warfare and wedge politics.

        • This was inevitable as soon as McConnell made the announcement. He should have been on the phone to the whitehouse trying to make a deal where the president would agree not to nominate someone, perhaps for allowing the rest of his lower court appointments to go through. Instead he sent a shot across the bow, there was really only one response he could make.

          Did you honestly expect democrats to bend over and take it when McConnell declared himself obstructionist?

          • 1) How do you know he didn’t call first?
            2) This isn’t a game, or shouldn’t be. Obama knew that the GOP controlled Senate wouldn’t consider a lame duck nomination in this environment, not from him. He knows Harry Reid wouldn’t if the parties were reversed.
            3) That’s why I wrote that it would be prudent not to make this fight.
            4) He’s not prudent. He’s divisive, and he’s a child.

            • You’re absolving Mitch McConnell, he picked a fight today. He stood up and told the world that he would prevent the president from making an appointment, it was a power play. So tell me, who tried to turn it into a game?

              Trying to dictate to the President of the United States is a political move and requires a political response.

              And how do I know he didn’t call? I don’t, I can only assess a probability based on the timing, if something were put on the table then the president would have had to call in his counselors and get their input, he’d have to bring someone in from Harry Reid’s office to liais and probably call Democratic party headquarters, then reject or make a counter-offer, McConnell would have to do similar things before making an offer for that matter. There’d be no reason to just say no and hang up the phone unless McConnell was doing his best Donald Trump impression. The nomination process takes months, no one saying anything publicly for a day isn’t a problem, they could call it respect for the dead and wait for the corpse to cool before announcing anything.

                • Transparency would be saying that we all know the republicans liked having a five judge majority and won’t allow that to change if they could in any way prevent it.

                  But hey, if you really want someone to be mad at just consider what I’d have done in President Obama’s position. After hearing that announcement I’d have told my chief of staff to call Larry Lessig and ask him if he’d like to be part of the nastiest most partisan nomination fight in our nation’s history. Then I’d call speaker Ryan and tell him the White House is prepared to make a few deals and give him the credit, as the old joke in the House goes, the other party are the opposition, the Senate is the enemy. Next call, Harry Reid, bog the entire senate down in procedure and start attaching an amendment to everything, one that abolishes the federal death penalty. Then perhaps next week’s radio addressees could tout the accomplishments of immigrants, fine people who while not born here, came to love and contribute wonderful things to their adopted country, how the dream that is America still makes that possible today, how accepting people contributes to our greatness. Then come the executive orders.

                  *sigh* You grew up in the patriarchy Jack, it takes willful ignorance to not see it when one person has started a dick measuring contest.

                  • You go down in my estimation by using words like patriarchy even more than using LOL, and almost as much by pretending that Larry Lessig has anything to contribute at all.

                    It’s not a contest when one side has no options. The Senate is co-equal to the President in this arena, and No means no. If Obama had any relationship with Congress and the other party like, say, any competent President, there would be no need for this. But he doesn’t. Nor is he popular enough to pull any of the tactics of President valkygrrl. We know this script: posture, failure, name-calling and whining, I detest McConnell, who is one of the worst of the worst, but this was the obvious thing to do.

                    • President valkygrrl would have made Lessig her very first Supreme Court appointment, Bill Clinton the second to permanently get Hillary Clinton out of my hair. And while I probably wouldn’t actually do it I won’t pretend the temptation would’t be there to pull a Chris Christie and mess with the timing on federal highway construction to tear up every road around Murphysburough Ky as soon as the snow melts, so all the trucks out of Atlanta need to pick a new refueling spot.

                    • My, how responsible and mature.

                      Lessig’s absurd—anyone who really thinks campaign financing is the monstrous evil he and Bernie do is absurd, and his ridiculous “elect me as a one issue President and I pledge I”ll resign once my impossible mission is accomplished” plan marks him as a wacko to boot—and Bill’s a criminal. Good choices.

              • “Trying to dictate to the President of the United States…”
                That’s an interesting way to phrase a representative of the people making a statement that concerns the Chief Executive elected to serve said people.
                It reveals a mentality that comes a little too close to “no one should dare to tell the King what to do.”

                • That wasn’t the intent. If you wish to make demands of the president then by all means, my blessing for whatever good it’ll do you, is yours.

                  I’m talking about political realities, a senator doesn’t get to do that, not because lese majeste, but because allowing it is too politically damaging to overlook.

                  Let’s try an easy hypothetical, personal instead of overtly political. Fictional senator Augusta Hawkins, newly elected shows up one day, her manners are just awful and on shaking the president’s hand at the state of the union, she makes a very rude comment about his mother, and she never gets invited to a state dinner ever after that.

                  Now, if I say, she would dare speak to the president that way? I’m not suggesting that rude comments about his mother are forbidden, I’m saying it simply is not done. That she must not understand her new position if she thinks no one would hold it against her.

                  Now if you do ever end up near a real honest-to-gods old-school reigning monarch, no I can’t recommend you try to tell them what to do. Heads walls spikes and all that, leave it to the diplomats.

        • What’s your point? She falls asleep at public ceremonies. At some point when you have to poke the jurist or pass a mirror in front of her mouth to check if she’s still alive, maybe she should retire.

          • If Obama were good at his job, he’d make a deal to have Ginsberg agree to retire immediately in exchange for a GOP deal to accept his nominee to replace her, while leaving the Scalia vacancy to the next President and Senate. That way the Democrats get a one liberal and maybe two, and Ginsberg can get out now, and not be stuck if a Republican wins.

            • I must respectfully disagree. The current Senate makeup means that no Democratic President could get any nominee through.

              If Obama wants to play their silly game, he’d nominate Roy Bean, then watch the resultant GOP faction fight.

              The composition of the Court is important, but it is not that important.

              Again, I disagree, and the SCOTUS has become thoroughly politicised. Both Scalia and Ginsberg contributed to that, but in the current “take no prisoners” climate of the Tea Party faction of the GOP, I don’t see any moderate or non-partisan appointment being possible no matter who is POTUS.

              The crisis has come 11 months early – but I don’t see McConnell taking a different attitude if either Sanders or Clinton gets in. All nominees will be blocked, period.

              Evidence – the continuing budget crises, and the public statements by GOP faction leaders that their one and only duty is to obstruct, regardless of consequences. I don’t think you realise just how bitter and entrenched the partisanship is in Congress, and the DNC is taking notes and will follow suit.

              • You believe its politicized because Obama and the Democrats have openly politicized it. Scalia was ideological, but he wasn’t political. I’m not sure any of them are political, though the rulings have political consequences. The only one whose opinions seem political is touchy-feely Sotomayor, an Affirmative Action appointee not qualified to be there.

                I really detest the GOP obstruction narrative, because it is a biased news media invention. Obama had refused to work with Congress unlike every other President has . The Democratic Senate leader, when he had a majority, wouldn’t even allow House bills to come to the floor for debate. The issue is trust, and has always been trust, and after the Obamacare debacle there was no reason for the Republicans in Congress to trust Obama. If they didn’t think he and many Democrats ultimately wanted to ban and confiscate guns, he could have gotten some gun legislation through. He could have gotten reasonable immigration reform through too.If the stimulus package hadn’t been a failure and a con to give money to unions, infrastructure could have passed. Obama’s style has been to dictate to Congress, and Congress has a duty to protect its Constitutional role. Obama has wanted consent without advise. And no, McConnell didn’t say right after Obama was elected that the objective was to block him, and if one more commenter repeats that myth I’m going to toss my cookies. This has been debunked over and over again, but Democrats, including Obama, keep lying about it. Here’s the Wsahington Post:

                Clearly, a theme has emerged among Democrats: Republicans were so determined to thwart President Obama’s agenda that the Senate Minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, even announced from day one that he was determined to make Obama a one-term president.

                The timing of McConnell’s statement obviously makes a difference. In the Democratic narrative, the top GOP senator signaled early on he had no intention of cooperating with the new president.

                Is that really the case?

                The Facts

                McConnell made his remarks in an interview that appeared in the National Journal on Oct. 23, 2010 — nearly two years after Obama was elected president. The interview took place on the eve the of the midterm elections. The interview is relatively short, so we will print it in its entirety, with key portions highlighted.

                NJ: You’ve been studying the history of presidents who lost part or all of Congress in their first term. Why?

                McConnell: In the last 100 years, three presidents suffered big defeats in Congress in their first term and then won reelection: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and the most recent example, Bill Clinton. I read a lot of history anyway, but I am trying to apply those lessons to current situations in hopes of not making the same mistakes.

                NJ: What have you learned?

                McConnell: After 1994, the public had the impression we Republicans overpromised and underdelivered. We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being reelected, and we were hanging on for our lives.

                NJ: What does this mean now?

                McConnell: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”

                NJ: What’s the job?

                McConnell: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

                NJ: Does that mean endless, or at least frequent, confrontation with the president?

                McConnell: If President Obama does a Clintonian backflip, if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.

                NJ: What are the big issues?

                McConnell: It is possible the president’s advisers will tell him he has to do something to get right with the public on his levels of spending and [on] lowering the national debt. If he were to heed that advice, he would, I imagine, find more support among our conference than he would among some in the Senate in his own party. I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change. So, we’ll see. The next move is going to be up to him.

                NJ: What will you seek from the president on the tax issue?

                McConnell: At the very least, I believe we should extend all of the Bush tax cuts. And I prefer to describe this as keeping current tax policy. It’s been on the books for 10 years. Now, how long that [extension] is, is something we can discuss. It was clear his position was not [favored] among all Senate Democrats. They had their own divisions. I don’t think those divisions are going to be any less in November and December.

                When seen in full context, McConnell’s quote is not really as shocking as the snippet that is frequently repeated by Democrats.

                Generally, Democrats suggest that McConnell believed that no problem is bigger than getting rid of Obama, but it is clear that he is speaking in a political context — that the goals of Republicans could not be achieved unless Obama is defeated in his race for reelection. A case in point: the health care law could not be overturned unless Obama is defeated.

                Moreover, McConnell goes on to say that he does “not want the president to fail” and cooperation was possible “if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues.” McConnell in fact cited an extension of the Bush tax cuts — and Obama did strike such a deal shortly after the midterm elections.

                Here’s how McConnell explained his remarks in a speech after the election, when Republicans had taken over the House of Representatives and made huge gains in the Senate:

                “Let’s start with the big picture. Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things. We can hope the President will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday’s election. But we can’t plan on it. And it would be foolish to expect that Republicans will be able to completely reverse the damage Democrats have done as long as a Democrat holds the veto pen.”

                There is no doubt that McConnell said he wanted to make Obama a one-term president. But he did not say it at the start of Obama’s term; instead, he made his comments at the midpoint, after Obama had enacted many of his preferred policies.

                Perhaps, in Obama’s memory, McConnell was always uncooperative. But that does not give him and other Democrats the license to rearrange the chronology to suit the party’s talking points.

                It makes perfect sense, with a hard left, lame duck President, to defer the filling of a vacancy on SCOTUS to the next one elected. As has been pointed out, no justice appointed by Obama could get to work this term anyway. That;s why I wrote that the prudent move by Obama would be to defer it. But everyone, including McConnell, knows Obama is not prudent.

                • If they didn’t think he and many Democrats ultimately wanted to ban and confiscate guns, he could have gotten some gun legislation through.

                  It is worse than that. Obama is on record as supporting prohibition of firearm purchases to those on the terror watch list.

                  There were several 5-4 rulings on the scope of our civil rights. See District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) , Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305 (2009), and Navarette v. California, 134 S. Ct. 1683 , 1692-1697 (Scalia, J., dissenting) Of these, Heller is the most important. The dissent in Melendez-Diaz did not go so fart as to suggest a state can do away entirely with the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses. The majority in Navarette did not go so far as to claim that the police could pull over anyone for any reason whatsoever. But the law at issue in Heller was not merely a time, place, and manner regulation on the right to keep and bear arms- it was a total ban on handguns. And four justices thought this was consistent with the Second Amendment. Tghis should be frightening, that there were four justices willing to uphold a law that completely does away with an enumerated right.

                • Has there ever been a case before where the majority party has proclaimed that they won’t confirm any presidential nomination whatsoever?

                  I seem to recall that Roberts was confirmed in an election year, though it took 8 months of bitter intransigence on the DNC’s part to delay things that long, with the first two nominees rejected.

                  • Has there ever been a president as inept, partisan, divisive and nationally destructive as Barack Obama? No.

                    Remember, his tenure has been unprecedented.

                    Don’t pretend like Senate has to play by tradition involving this individual, they are well within the rules not to confirm nor is there an absolute need to confirm.

                    • In fact, given Obama’s dismal** leadership record for 7 years, the Senate and other grown ups in politics have no reason to play ball with him. None of it. In fact there is a need to adamantly oppose anyone he nominates… Because we’ve had 7 years of knowing how he operates. You are judging the Senate as though this event has occurred in a vacuum. I’m not sure why.

                      He established this climate.

                      **I use dismal because I can’t think of a more awful descriptor,

                  • This precise scenario hasn’t occurred before. A Democratic President hasn’t faced a confirmation battle of any kind since Grover Cleveland, never mind the lame duck and evenly divided court wrinkles. Moreover, Harry Reid pretty much created the horrible per cent of just refusing to have votes when he didn’t want something voted on, the filibuster hadn’t been used to block appointments, the Democrats hadn’t introduced borking…anyone who pretends there is any clear precedent either way is not being honest.

                    • Here’s his recommendation from years ago that Glenn Reynolds just re-published. It would only take a resposnible Senate leaders and a responsible and reasonable President to establish the tradition.

                      Reynolds:

                      I propose that the Senate put together its own list of candidates for each Supreme Court vacancy, and forward that list to the President. This list would constitute the “advice” portion of the Senate’s constitutional role. The President could then do one of two things-she could select a nominee from the list, who would be presumed competent based on the Senate’s earlier screening and would be given approval according to some sort of accelerated procedure (much as in “fast track” trade legislation), or she could select someone not on the list, in which case the confirmation process would take place as usual.

                      Under this process both sides would be encouraged not to be too political in their selections: if the Senate loaded its list with ideologues, the President would ignore it, forcing the Senate to undergo the traditional confirmation process. On the other hand, the President also would be encouraged to avoid ideologues and give the Senate’s list serious consideration, and to select from it so long as its candidates were reasonable, in order to escape the agonies of the full-blown Senate confirmation process as it has become. Furthermore, if the President did not select from the list, there would be a basis for comparison, as people (and Senators) could decide whether the President’s candidate met the same standards as the members of the Senate’s list.

                    • Glen Reynolds formulation is one that all reasonable people should be able to agree to.

                      In today’s climate though, I fear the Senate would just produce a list of one, and only after years of factional infighting, regardless of which party was in control.

                      The Senate has every right to refuse to consider any nomination whatsoever. I feel this is dereliction of duty, they are supposed to give “advise and consent”.

                      The Senate has every right to filbister any nomination. I feel this is also dereliction of duty, they are supposed to give “advise and consent”.

                      The Senate has not just the right, but a positive duty to veto a nomination after reasoned debate of any nominee they consider unsuitable. The debate consistitutes the “advice” (though in a reasonable world, there would have been extensive discussions with the POTUS about nominees beforehand), and the veto constitutes the (absence of) “consent”.

                      A sham “debate” that doesn’t rationally consider the issues, but descends into partisanship is dereliction of duty. A rubber-stamp approval of an unsuitable candidate likewise. Similarly a blanket disapproval, which I suspect happened with Bork, despite 6 R voting against, and 2 D for. The whole Bork business stank.

                      Refusing to consider any candidate whatsoever is “hardball”. The problem there is that the Senate is in recess, and Obama if he plays the game by those rules can make a recess appointment.

                      While it must be tempting, I think – I hope – that he’s better than that. The rot has to stop somewhere.

  2. “Let’s see which progressive pundit or website shows its ugly side in reacting to Antonin Scalia’s death.”

    So far I’ve seen several commenters predicting and damning in advance those horrible left wingers who seize upon the death of an important and honorable human being to scurrilously advance their own agendas.

    But as to actual cases, I haven’t seen any yet.

    • Charles, the comments I’ve seen this far have been absolutely terrible; things like wishing him a nice stay in Hell, or sodomizing his bloated corpse, for example.

      • It is ugly on Twitter and the comments sections, but so far The Daily Kos, Raw Story, HuffPo, the Daily Beast, TPM and Think Progress have been respectful. So far.

        The President’s address was fine.

      • Joed, that’s horrible. I suggest you immediately unsubscribe from whoever writes such stuff. I know I don’t run across it, and don’t miss it.

        • It was the comments section in articles by AOL. Not all were like that. Some said “while I rarely agreed with his opinions, I’m saddened by his passing” or things along those lines, which gives me hope that in a crisis, we’d still be capable of finding common ground.

          • Yes, these comments are despicable–reminiscent of the comments from the right when Jimmy Carter was diagnosed with cancer. Inexcusable no matter who does it.

              • Because anonymity brings out the worst in some people on the internet, no matter which side of the political aisle. Comments so far have seemed to infer that the Left has a monopoly on being crass and disrespectful. And I seem to have anticipated Steve-O’s comment below at 9:14.

                • I saw no suggestion anywhere that right wing ghouls and fools were less ghoulish and foolish. I certainly didn’t suggest that. The episode involved a conservative icon, so mean spirited comment from the left were predictable. The fact that right wingers are equally capable of such nastiness doesn’t make the conduct any better. (I’m pretty sure that Steve-O was kidding…)

                  • I am sorry to say that I was definitely not kidding. I believe that it is time someone actually spoke out and pointed out all of the terrible damaging things that Jimmy Carter did in his days as an incompetent president. I am tired of hearing the statements that he was such a good guy, such a nice guy, and that his heart was always in the right place. The fact is that he was an incompetent who never should have been elected to that office, and once he was elected, was in over his head. I am also disgusted by his attempts at freelance diplomacy following his loss to Ronald Reagan. I believe some of them may have violated the Logan act, which specifically gives the federal government the power to conduct foreign policy and the federal government alone. Yet during the build up to the first Gulf War, you saw former President Carter attempting to run his own foreign policy with the United Nations, including attempting to get members of the Security Council to vote against the resolution that would have given the United States the authority to take action against Iraq. The man is worthy of nothing but contempt, and taking a leaf from some other folks, I intend to let that contempt be known within the hour after his death is announced.

                    • Is it necessary? Nobody seriously defends Carter, who was weak, arrogant,never understood the job and did infinite damage—except that he made Ronald Reagan possible. I have a very astute Democrat friend who predicted Obama’s high end was as another Carter—she did not mean it as a compliment. He has, of course, not only been far worse than Carter but has made truly horrible options like Sanders and Trump look appealing. That’s a big down-side of really bad leaders.

                    • I believe it is. My former best friend, a brilliant Classics scholar, still defends Carter as a wonderful man who America threw over for a senior homophobe. I won’t stand for attitudes like that. It’s not enough to remember history. You must also remember the details.

          • Comments sections across the Internet – certainly including those on AOL – have become cesspools for incivility. My experience is you have to look at sections on 2nd-tier newspapers in the UK or obscure academic journals to find comments that don’t devolve into nasty name-calling.

            Online incivility is at epidemic proportions.

            • Well duh. Like I said, there are some basic truths about people that get revealed online – people are by nature hateful, immature, arrogant, partisan, biased, and lazy. They know what they agree with and what they like, they don’t like those they don’t agree with, they aren’t interested in hearing what those they don’t agree with have to say, and they very quickly devolve to insults. Online you can spew all the hate you want.

  3. While everyone will be saying that this ups the ante in the Presidential race, that’s impossible. The importance of the election couldn’t be greater. The vacancy Scalia’s death creates, unfortunately,will increase the level of demagoguery from both parties, with the appointment of Scalia’s replacement being elevated to the equivalent of a life and death matter obliterating all other considerations. Anyone who argues that will be exposing their true status as a hack, appealing to hysterics, ignoring te ethical value of proportion. The composition of the Court is important, but it is not that important.

    Scalia was a swing vote in many cases that upheld enumerated rights such as District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305 (2009). The latter is significant as he broke with the conservative wing in that Sixth Amendment case.

    He also explained why the death penalty is so expensive in this country.

    As JUSTICE BREYER concedes, for more than 160
    years, capital sentences were carried out in an average of
    two years or less. Post, at 18. But by 2014, he tells us, it
    took an average of 18 years to carry out a death sentence.
    Id., at 19. What happened in the intervening years?Nothing other than the proliferation of labyrinthine restrictions on capital punishment, promulgated by this Court under an interpretation of the Eighth Amendment
    that empowered it to divine “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society,”
    Trop v. Dulles, 356 U. S. 86, 101 (1958) (plurality opinion)—a
    task for which we are eminently ill suited.

    Glossip v. Gross, concurring opinion of Scalia, J., slip op. at 6.

    President Obama would be prudent and wise to announce that the vacancy will be filled by the next President. If he insists on the theater of appointing his own, making that poor judge, whoever it is, the center of a pre-election circus when confirmation is impossible, then it will be yet another example of this President being divisive for political expediency.

    If he nominated U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl, enough Republicans would defect as to allow him to be nominated. I note that had Skavdahl been nominated instead of Sotomayor, one or more rulings would have turned out differently.

    No SCOTUS Justice within memory was more viciously attacked by ideological foes—well, other than Clarence Thomas. Too many of those critics never read a single one of Scalia’s opinions, and if they did, they wouldn’t understand it.

    Read the comments. It shows how willing people are to assert things over which they have no knowledge.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/scalias-death-plunges-court-national-politics-into-turmoil/2016/02/13/136c0590-d2a4-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop_b

    Let’s see which progressive pundit or website shows its ugly side in reacting to Antonin Scalia’s death. He gave half a century to public service and the law, and few have served longer or with more distinction. Anyone who can’t rise above partisan differences to give him the final respect he earned will be revealed as petty and small.

    to be fair, there are millions of progressives out there.

    • “In a telephone interview Saturday night, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said, “The president has said he will send a nominee to the Senate.””
      Do you think, at least for the sake of appearances, that waiting a day or two would be too much to ask?
      “The Supreme Court of the United States is too important to our democracy for it to be understaffed for partisan reasons. It is only February. The President and the Senate should get to work without delay to nominate, consider and confirm the next justice to serve on the Supreme Court.”
      Too funny.

      • As I said above, this had to happen once Mitch McConnell made his announcement. Any decision about leaving the seat empty had to come from the white house. To roll over is to admit to being a lame duck. No one, Democrat, Republican, Martian, would do that, no one with personality it takes to win a national election could do it.

        • That’s nonsense. As I said, it’s not a game. That’s a zero sum game—an impasse doesn’t do anything. His job is to get something done. 7 years, and all he knows how to do is posture, accuse, blame others, and issue unilateral orders. Not how a constitutional democracy works, not how it ever has worked, not how it can work.

          • When advice and consent comes down to our advice is to take a long walk off a short pier because we’re not going to consent to anything that comes from you, you Jack accuse the receiver of that message of posturing.

            Take the night to sleep on it. It was a big day, in the morning I think you’ll see that with the parties reversed the same thing would have happened. McConnell was out of line, no president would have let that go.

            • What are you talking about? The Senate makes the schedule, and the Senate leader can do exactly what McConnell did. Harry Reid did that about once a week. “No, we won’t vote on a budget.” “No, we won’t take that House bill to the floor.” When Scalia died, anyone familiar with the process said—“No way a Republican Senate will allow a lame duck Democrat to fill this opening with less than 9 months to the election of a possibly GOP President.” Knowing Obama, we also knew he would make the nomination, futile as it was. The smart and competent move is to announce the conditions that exist: “don’t bother, because it’s going nowhere.” Assert the power of the Senate That’s not posturing, that’s cold hard fact. The pointless, defiant nomination is posturing.

      • Already, I am reading comments by people I have known for decades – people of the Left – saying things like (I am using quotes, but these are not necessarily exactly what they are saying, but close enough): “Obama should nominate a Black Female Muslim…Lesbian.” Just fill those squares; check those boxes. The only qualifications that matter to those leftists are “qualifications” that in truth are irrelevant.

        The only one of those “qualifications” – Black, Female, Muslim, Lesbian – that I have any automatic objection to, for my own reasons, is the Muslim trait. But also, because it would be poor judgment, irresponsible, for a POTUS or any of his minions to throw down yet another gauntlet of divisiveness by so much as mentioning the religion of a nominee, let alone trumpeting it with some phony air of self-righteousness: “Me inclusive – me GOOOOOOD! Me check religion of my nominees. Me nominate only person with the certain religion they should be. Anyone object to my nominee – BAAAAAAD!” We know how Obama operates – Jack explains better than I ever could. And so the 2016 Court-Packing Olympics begin…

        I should be used to it by now, but I will never settle like a vet-tranquilized puppy and sleep through leftist ideologues’ insistence on SCOTUS nominees’ “qualifications” to include race, sex, religion, and erotic preferences. It will always be far more important to me that a nominee know the law, and respect the law, and reflect that knowledge and respect without partiality to those “qualifications.”

        Still, my Eeyore-vision (a waking nightmare) pictures Obama doing what Obama is so predictable at doing: pushing as hard as he can to ideologically purify the Court…nominating a fist-pumping, Black-Lives-Matter racist hater; a true believer of “white privilege” and 77-cents-on-the-dollar pay inequality mythology; who has flown more first-class passenger jet miles while agitating for totalitarian governments to fix global climates than any other climate-control activist; whose distinction in the Save-the-Zika-virus movement (for kindness to, and ethical treatment of, viruses) is exceeded only by their distinction as the top moneymaking seller of aborted pregnancies’ remains for the benefit of Planned Parenthood, who knows less about the law than they know about Beyonce’s and Kim’s latest gluteal and mammary measurements and flauntings.

        • Why is it that people who (correctly, strickly-speaking, but loudly) object to being estimated on the basis of color, gender, and sexual orientation think it’s okay to demand these superficial traits be the primary consideration for important offices?

        • It must be hell living with Eeyore-vision. I’d bet there’s a democrat somewhere willing to proclaim it a bona fide disorder, worthy of protection and taxpayer-funded treatment. Although, it does produce an entertaining (if not painful in its truth) rant.

        • “nominating a fist-pumping, Black-Lives-Matter racist hater; a true believer of “white privilege” and 77-cents-on-the-dollar pay inequality mythology;” What, like Eric Holder?

  4. The twitterverse is already filled with liberals celebrating. Like I said, people are hateful, partisan, biased, immature, arrogant and lazy, and this just proves the point. Dan Savage of course said he was dedicating the rest of his marital sodomy to Scalia’s memory. Boy, I can’t wait till Carter kicks the bucket so I can post this doozy of an essay I wrote saying how glad I am he’s toes up.

    • Like I said, people are hateful, partisan, biased, immature, arrogant and lazy,

      And in the next breath you say you’re just itching for your chance to do the same. Self-awareness isn’t a big thing for you is it?

      • I may be speaking out of turn, but I think he may have been trying to say something that would be easy to misinterpret. I believe he was saying he would bait those progressives with a derogatory essay, then remind them of their treatment of Scalia if and when they responded with indignation. I’m primarily going off the usual tone of his comments. He doesn’t strike me as not being self-aware, for what it’s worth.

        • Oh, I am self-aware. I am just fed up with deferring to the new attitude of “if you don’t have something liberal to say, then shut up, bigot.”.

          No I won’t shut up, and I have every right to attack and insult an ideology, a political party, or a person who regularly attacks and insults me as stupid, Neanderthal, superstitious, uneducated, and ten other different kinds of ignorant as the left, the Democratic party and its adherents, and folks like v-girl do with great pleasure and gusto. It’s time the conservatives in this country wake up and realize they are not helpless unless they want to be.

          I think this might have finally done it, because McConnell et al, if they’ve got brains in their heads, are looking toward the long term, recapture of the White House. They know picking a major fight with the White House that has no hope of success, like a shutdown, does not benefit them and may hurt them in that long term pursuit.

          However, the facts are that this is #1, a fight they CAN win, since it is their power to confirm or not confirm an Obama nominee, and #2, this is not something they can or should not assert that power on by “surrendering first and pretending to fight afterward,” lest they give truth to the allegations that they are spineless and unwilling to take action.

          I am certain there are a lot of GOP senators rising with headaches this morning, facing up to the fact that they have a choice between standing firm in a messy fight that’s going to make the Abe Fortas fight look tame or breaking ranks and handing Obama the biggest prize of all. For some it’s an easy choice. For others, like those defending their seats against tough liberal challenges, perhaps not so.

          Meantime, Obama, true to form, is not even waiting 24 hours to start the fight, possibly thinking this is at a minimum an opportunity for more abortion-based scaremongering. I only half blame him, a lot of us were thinking it would be another terror attack or an economic meltdown that would doom his party’s chances this time out, this might be what revives those chances…if not handled too heavily. If he tries to stomp the other side flat like it’s still 2009 though, I think someone else isn’t being self-aware.

          • McConnell will, and should, just say that he will schedule no hearings until a new Senate and President are elected. This will also have the effect of forcing the Democratic candidates to endorse Obama’s pick (thus giving up their opportunity to appoint the new Justice, if they win), or opposing it. If he picks an unqualified or controversial judge, it could hurt at the polls. Meanwhile, all McConnell has to do is refuse to schedule hearings and keep repeating, “The American people should have a voice in choosing the direction of the next Supreme Court.” That’s a bipartisan statement that is hard to condemn. He has all the cards.

          • It is so good of you to agree with me about gender there O. And so brave of you to ignore the oppressive standards that say men can’t wail impotently when they have hurt feels. Well done, you’re an inspiration.

            • I’m not sure whether to laugh at the fact you must acknowledge that you have already wailed impotently or sneer at the fact that the GOP is anything but impotent here. But hey, with you types it’s not the facts, but the snark that counts.

              • I love how you whine, call people names, fling insults and then whine more that everyone else is being so mean to you and you just won’t take it any more. Your childish behavior is always everyone else’s fault and everyone who points it out is just telling you to shuts up rather than suggesting you lack the maturity the gods gave a 10 year old. And I’ve been thinking on it.

                Would you like us to set you up with a nice little safe space or get you some assistance since all the bad people are keeping you down? How about a teddy bear? Would you like that? Nice little teddy to hug and make you feel better?

                • I must be having an out of body experience, at least on this thread. I’m not the one posting fantasies of how I would like to appoint looks to the SCOTUS and play games with Federal construction contracts to break a political opponent’s balls. Maturity? Pot to kettle…come in kettle…you are black…that is all.

                  • Oh no I wouldn’t break his balls, I’d crush them into a fine paste and light them on fire for what he did. Next call goes to Rand Paul, no reason to love his party’s establishment, agree to toss Jim Gray under the bus in exchange for making Mitch McConnell’s life a living hell and the honor of being his state’s senior senator. Gray’s only got a 1/3 chance anyway and getting a damaged party leader is a good deal for Democrats. Rand would also be able to use his time to stump and fund-raise for others and build up some favors, everyone wins, everyone who didn’t try to make a power play against the White House anyway.

                    And should McConnell ever come asking to deal after what he pulled yesterday. Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My offer is this: nothing. Not even a long questioning for my nominee, which I would appreciate if you would vote for him personally.

                    But you see, O, that’s just a hypothetical, some things that could be done. And it didn’t require any name calling, it didn’t require any whining about how unfairly I’m being treated, no breath holding and foot stomping. You’ll understand what I mean when you get older. Now, do I need to get you that teddy bear?

                    • Meanwhile, mature, informed commentators are labelling Mitch’s announcement obvious, unremarkable, and a reasonable response to a rare situation. Best comment elsewhere: “Why doesn’t Obama just appoint a Justice by executive order?”

                      I don’t have a clue what your tantrum is about, but its a good imitation of trolling.

                    • Thanks, no need. Those hypothetical speak for themselves. Castration and burning. I might add, I fail to see how refusing to deal with McConnell here would be any different than things as they are now. I also think your thoughts on what you could squeeze out of Rand Paul are just wishful thinking. You are living some kind of Daily Kos/Moveon wet dream, and are far out of touch with facts. Speak not to me of whining, you are the lead speaker of whinese.

                    • V-girl has lost it, Jack, or her twelve year old is using her account. At least Beth you could talk to once the huffing and puffing settled down. Unfortunately she seems to think she can insult me into losing it. There is the question of executive orders, but recess appointments are never permanent, and would just undermine the.process further.

            • Well I see “oppression” has taken its place in the long, long lexicon full of words that progressives do not know the meaning of anymore.

          • “possibly thinking this is at a minimum an opportunity for more abortion-based scaremongering”, or maybe just a scorched-Earth mentality.

  5. Well I guess Obama isn’t “prudent and wise”. His stubborn insistence in protecting his legacy by promising to send a DOA (dead on arrival?) nomination to the Senate will continue to poison relations between liberals and conservatives throughout the country. Thank you for your arrogance current POTUS!

      • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would not hold a vote on any President Obama-appointed replacement this year.

        His stubborn insistence in protecting his legacy by promising to not hold a confirmation vote in the Senate will continue to poison relations between liberals and conservatives throughout the country.

    • Wayne, if a Republican president were in office now, would you also recommend that (s)he hold off putting up a nomination, despite the President’s presumed constitutional obligation to do so?

        • How far does that logic go?

          –How many months away from re-election should a President be advised to forget about it, vs. to propose a nominee?
          –How bad need political relations be before a President should be advised to forego proposing a nominee?
          –How loosely should we interpret the phrase “Constitutional responsibility” to permit, or even argue for, foregoing proposing a nominee?

          • No general rule will apply in every specific situation. What is in the best interests of the nation and an orderly transition is to try to cool the jets, unite the country, let the process proceed efficiently and with as little static as possible. A less divisive leader, with a better relationship of trust with Congress—that would require a concerted effort that was never undertaken and is too late to begin, could make a different and justifiable call.

            • I agree with that very reasonable statement, at least about best interests, no specific rule, stop the rudeness, etc. However –

              Follow-up question: there’s a decent chance that the next President will be Hillary – in fact, her odds on Bovada are better than anyone else’s. Would you expect Congress to be more receptive to a nominee from her than from Obama? Should she then also capitulate, and we just learn to live with an 8-member Supreme Court?

              I guess the question is – where does this lack of comity end?

              • Congress has an obligation to agree to fill the vacancy, and I guarantee that an outrage like you describe would fail because enough GOP Senators would bolt. Hillary is also, unlike Obama, a pragmatist. She would make a deal, just like every other President has in similar situations. The key issue is lame duck status. That’s all.

                John Tyler never could get Congress to ratify his choices, and the Court was incomplete for almost two years. It won’t happen like that.

                Stop following Bovada! Hillary will not be elected, no matter who runs, and I doubt she will be nominated. She’s a horrible, unelectable candidate, and it is just going to get worse and worse.

                • “Hillary will not be elected, no matter who runs, and I doubt she will be nominated.”

                  I like the odds…I’ll take both bets. A friendly shot of Jack?

                  I agree w. you about Hillary being a pragmatist; she could also sell the same deal to Congress better than Obama could at this point.

              • Oh—it ends when under the leadership of a deft and pooular President, with no vacancies looming, leaders of both parties in the senate are made to publicly go back to the understanding pre-Bork, that the President will consult the Senate about possible nominees, and choose one with sterling judicial credentials and a record of integrity and competence, and that no matter what his presumed philosophical proclivities and no matter what his view son specific issues and no matter how he or she may change the composition of the Court, if the nominee is qualified, the Senate will confirm the nominee. Elections matter. This is still all tit for tat from Bork’s disgraceful handling by the Democrats—he was less conservative than Scalia and more qualified than anyone currently on SCOTUS, and the Democrats not only rejected him but slandered him, led by Ted Kennedy. But that broke a century long understanding. It will take leadership skill (that Obama doesn’t have), but that clock can be turned back, because both parties will benefit.

                • While I agree with you regarding the origin of the problem, and at whose doorstep the original fault lies, I’m far less optimistic about the possibility of restoring the status quo ante bellum. The GOP has become far too extreme for that to be a goer, and I fear the DNC will respond in kind. Just look at the extreme partisanship and posturing regarding the Obamacare votes and the budget. What was once unthinkable has become the new normal.

          • To be clear there is no phrase “Constitutional responsibility”.

            For those confused, here’s the pertinent bit from Article 2, Section 2:

            He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”

            He, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Judges of the supreme Court.

            Authority is a better word than responsibility, and the preposition “with”, demonstrates it is a shared authority.

            • Format miff:

              He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”

  6. http://neoneocon.com/2016/02/13/now-that-justice-scalia-has-died-what-will-congress-do/

    Spot on. I did not know that this will be the first SCOTUS vacancy with a GOP controlled Senate and a Democratic President since Grover Cleveland, who left office in 1896. Already I’ve read some online posts that conveniently ignore how the Democrats got Kennedy on the court—by blocking a fully-qualified and respected legal scholar and jurist on purely partisan grounds, changing the dynamic of SCOTUS nominations permanently.

  7. “The fact is that once one is over 75, all bets are off, for anybody.
    hahahaheeheehoooohoohohohhmmmeheehoooohoohohohhmm{{choke}}hiyiyiyiyuhhahuhuhuhuhhuhuhgyahnhunhunhhooohkyakyaoooohoohohohhmmmhahammpyo{{teethfellout}}gyuhhnwaaawaaakyahhhhooohkyakyaoooohoohohohhmmumhumhwhawhawhaeheehoooohoohohohhkyahkhyaheeheeruhruhruhbuhbuhbuh{{fucktheoxygentankdroppedoff…}}nunhynyuhwha}]whewaa{{..thedamn…sideofthewheelchaiir}}eheehoooochyuuhoohohohhthuuthuuuthyh{{theregoesthelastDependsdamnit}}hunhooohunhhoooboy!

  8. Naturally, the President announced that he would send a DOA nomination to the Senate anyway.

    Kozinski is the only nominee that will assuage the gun rights lobby such that they will drop pressure on the Senate.

    (I do not know if Kozinski would have reached the same result Scalia did in Melendez-Diaz, but I do know that the Confrontation Clause lobby is not as nearly as powerful as the gun rights lobby. )

  9. Justice Scalia was my faculty adviser when I was in law school. He was probably one of the three greatest teachers I ever had, from first grade through law school. While I did not agree with some of his opinions while on the Supreme Court and while it has been 40+ years since I last interacted with him, I have always held a great respect for his intellect and his collegiality, even with those with whom he did not agree.

  10. BuzzFeed editor Rachel Zarrell retweeted a GQ writer who wrote, “Boy is my Twitter feed not sad.” Then she tweeted a single party popper emoji. Finally, she retweeted Cruz’s appreciation of Scalia and condolances for his death with the comment, “Literally, LOL.”

    We’ll see more of this today. It is especially clear—from my Facebook feed, among other places, that gays took Scalia’s principled objections to the Court’s recognition of a right to same sex marriage (and right to non-heterosexual sex) personally, though he never denigrated gays in any opinion, just those judges who, in his view, warped the intent of the Constitution’s authors. Scalia’s originalist philosophy was far too restrictive, and he was wrong—but being angry at him is literally the same as an acquitted defendant having a vendetta against the prosecutor. It wasn’t personal.

      • Originalism takes the view that nothing the Founders didn’t know about, predict or understand could be covered by the document. It limits the use of broadly applicable principles and wisdom. New forms, mutations, inventions and problems, like technology, have to be crammed into rigid square holes, or if they can’t be, then its not covered. The approach is useful as counter ballast to the other extreme pole, that the document means anything we want it to, but nailing current law to 18th century knowledge and beliefs is unworkable.

          • Interestingly enough, the Preamble seems like it would be a perfect guide for originalists in evaluating what kind of exegesis must occur involving literal interpretation of the Constitution. As new technology and demography arises, evaluating exactly how the Founders valued:

            perfect union
            justice
            domestic tranquility
            common defense
            general welfare
            the blessings of liberty

            Would go a long way towards still being an originalist while accommodating the modern age. And when such accommodations CANNOT be made, then yes, there’s the Amendment process…

            If one pole IS as Jack describes it, such strict literalism that we just ignore anything that doesn’t fit and the other pole is the wild forget-the-process-just-vote-for-what-we-want-and-damn-the-consequences worldview that is growing in the Left, then I’d rather have the happy medium, leaning to the literalist side though not all the way there.

  11. I apologize, if this is a bad place to ask what are probably dumb questions: What happens now, to the current business of the Supreme Court? Do the justices by consensus, or perhaps Chief Justice Roberts in some exercise of official power, just shelve cases for which arguments have already been heard, pending restoration of a full nine-member panel? Refuse to hear as many cases as may have been previously agreed to hear? Some other clear-the-docket maneuver that’s never been done before?

    What happens to cases where the vote is 4-4? Reversions to the lower courts’ rulings? More Executive Orders to constitute a de facto tie-breaker?

    • SCOTUS operates short one Justice, that’s all. Any case that Scalia already voted on loses that vote. 4-4 means that the lower court opinion stands. But nobody knows how many justices dissent when the result is unavoidable, who might change sides if their vote were decisive. Kennedy and Roberts might shift more right, more reliably. Remember, Kagan has had to recuse lots of times already–when she does agin, its a 7 member court.

  12. Obama should nominate a highly qualified moderate Judge to SCOTUS. He’s the President for another 11 months! Let this be a referendum on the Senate. Anyone who refuses to do his/her job will face serious scrutiny if up for reelection.

    • If I were McConnell, and Obama did that, I’d turn around and have that moderate, qualified judge approved, quick.

      But McConnell would never do that, and neither will Obama. Which is the whole, worthless 7+ years in a nut shell.

      • How do you know Obama wouldn’t do that? Two of the people mentioned as leading candidates were already approved by 96-0 votes by the senate, and one of them is good buddies with Charles Grassley, Republican chairman of the judiciary committee.

        Since they’re already on record as having received bona fides from the Senate, what argument would McConnell have to come up with argue that things are different now? Shouldn’t a Senate vote to approve of 96-0 carry some weight toward the “highly qualified moderate judge” criterion that Beth mentioned? Why wouldn’t Obama nominate such a person?

  13. This is just so simple. People need to do their damn jobs. Obama needs to nominate somebody, and the Senate has to approve the nomination if he/she is qualified.

  14. 100% of Obama’s motivation is politics, I fully expect a “fall guy” nomination to be presented to add to the divisiveness of this election campaign. Division among the masses is a close personal friend of the political left, it has become their #1 political tactic, everything the political left does is politically motivated to increase the levels of division.

    On Obama’s legacy of domestic accomplishments, division among the masses should be listed as his #1 “accomplishment”.

  15. The President should nominate Trump. That way the republicans get him out of their hair and in six months to a year when he gets bored with being on the court and resigns we get a new justice.

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