by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
According to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the future of the republic teeters in the balance. Unless the United States Senate bows to the will of President Barack Obama and approves his replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, everything we hold dear will be lost.
A refusal to get with the program, Warren insists, “would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that — empty talk.”
This is the twisted view now prevalent on the Left and in the media: It reads Article II of the Constitution giving the president the power to appoint justices with “the advice and consent” of the Senate as, in effect, an affirmative obligation on the Senate to consider and approve the president’s nominees.
Might this wholly fanciful constitutional exegesis have something to do with a desire to replace Scalia, a giant of originalism, with another progressive rubber stamp? Cut to Sen. Chuck Schumer, a giant of clever partisan manipulations. Back in 2007, the New York Democrat all but pledged his life and sacred honor to blocking any further George W. Bush appointments to the Supreme Court — and somehow democracy survived.
Of course, Barack Obama can nominate whomever he likes to the Supreme Court. Of course, the Senate can block him or her. And of course, Democrats can call Republicans heedless obstructionists and try to turn the public against them. This is the natural contest between the political branches, which is a feature of the U.S. Constitution, not a bug.