Back in 2008, some of our Republican friends warned us not to vote for Barack Obama because Samantha Power was one of his advisers. She is now the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Last week, she delivered this powerful speech at Yad Vashem. And while in Tel Aviv, Power criticized the U.N. for bias against Israel. We were warned.
Filling a Supreme Court vacancy is not a political prerogative. It is a basic function and fundamental obligation for both the executive and the legislative branches. The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia has left a vacancy that must be filled and President Obama has a Constitutional responsibility to nominate someone to take his place. Six Justices have been confirmed in presidential election years since 1900, the most recent being Justice Kennedy, who was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in 1988.
Many Jewish groups are calling for swift Senate consideration of whomever President Obama nominates.
President Obama paid his respects to Justice Scalia on Friday and Vice President Joseph Biden represented the administration at the funeral Saturday. Rex Huppke pointed out that "Obama is not attending Scalia's funeral, but he IS doing other things at different times. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!" Huppke was kidding, but too many people really feel this way. Get a grip, haters.
As Politico reported last week, "people close to the Scalia family said Obama was making the right choice and that the Friday ceremony at the Supreme Court was the better place for Obama to pay his respects." But why let what the family thinks get in the way of an opportunity to bash the president?
I never met Scalia. His family and friends should remember him for whatever acts of personal kindness he may have performed. But history will remember him for the damage his poorly reasoned opinions did to our country. He wasn't even true to his own beliefs in textualism and originalism. If he left any positive legacy for our country, it is that the upcoming fight over his replacement will remind us of how important control of the Senate is and of how important it is that we elect presidents who will not nominate people like Scalia again.