Article in Politics / Legislation / National
DOA or Dead on Arrival as the Republicans proudly put it in news conference after news conference. Leave it to the next President says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The fight heating up over this nomination in a show down between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his dire enemy, President Obama. Meanwhile, other Republicans must weigh their options in choosing which way to address this Supreme Court selection before their re-election campaign. A dysfunctional court doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

The US Senate majority has been battling each other and Obama tooth and nail until they actually popped their own balloon causing the exit of Boehner their former Senate Majority Leader. Solution, bring in a ‘young gun’, Paul Ryan, late last year who seemed the most likely leader to build consensus in fighting the White House. Obama’s justice picks, historically have been the result of opened positions. His nominees, had obviously clogged the system with enough filibusters such that ‘Sen. Harry Reid in 2013 invoked the so-called Nuclear option that changed the Senate rules to a simple majority vote for all judicial nominees, except the supreme court’. (wikipedia) Given the hostility between the Senate recorded history of fighting or ignoring President Obama’s budget, White House initiatives, or even first nominees to Appellate and District Courts; a Supreme Court Justice becomes the biggest prize on both sides. The importance of ideology on the Supreme Court happens to be very dear to both liberal and conservative thought.

The untimely death of Justice Scalia opened the Obama presidency an opportunity, still within the law of a sitting president, to leave a mark for years to come. Republican Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abhors the thought of President Obama having another Supreme Court Justice approved. This would mean the court moves away from more conservative rulings. It’s now all political. The White House put forth District Court Justice Merrick B. Garland as their nominee, and identified as a positive choice since previously voted onto the District Court by some Republicans still in the Senate.

As Senate Majority leader, McConnell allows or not allow a nomination to come before committee for consideration. Even though this position seems finite, the presidential elections may have impact. In reality, eight (8) Senators are up for re-election. Their positions and reelections have to be measured regarding this nomination, in particular that of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who chairs the Senate Judicial Committee that hold hearings on Supreme Court nominees. While the battleground language remains the same, Obama’s nomination could be more appealing than a nominee coming from possible front runners for president of either Democrat or Republican parties, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respectively. Given these choices, there are those speculating that several Republican Senators may be willing to meet with Merrick B. Garland. Not yet because of McConnell, but maybe, just maybe rethinking Obama’s nominee could turn out to be a better choice than waiting for the next president to decide.

The fight is escalating according to a New York Times article from left to right where this vacancy ‘holds potential to be a confrontation that could also help determine the winner of the White House race, control of the Senate and ideological balance of the court. It is a that rare Washington fight that washes over all three branches of government with the prospect of damaging each of them’.

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Lillian L Thompson
Lillian Thompson received a Master's of Architecture from Columbia University and Interior and Environmental Degree from Pratt Institute, se

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