Vice President Joe Biden making the case for NOT
appointing a judge to the Supreme Court in an election year.

Biden Opposes Filling SCOTUS OpeningPosted by Tim Scott on Thursday, February 25, 2016

 

So many people are clamoring for the Republican controlled senate to “do their job” and let Obama make an appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). There are others telling the senate to block at all costs because they want us to hold out for a Republican president and they are all wrong.

On Facebook, US Senator Tim Scott stated in regards to the clip above, “Remember when then-Senator Joe Biden opposed filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year? The ideological balance of the Court is essential to the future of our nation. This November, the American people should decide who will choose the next Supreme Court justice.”

I like the good Senator from Charleston, and where he is making a good statement, it is not an argument for holding up a nominee.

There are those who make the argument that the Democrats blocked President George Bush’s nominees 18 months before his term was up so we (as Republicans) should do the same to Obama. Again, that is not the argument.

Some want to cite the last time an election year vacancy occurred and an appointment was confirmed (Herbert Hoover’s nomination of Cardozo in 1932). Again, not a valid argument to be made. Fact is, there haven’t been any election year vacancies since them.  Now there have been some vacancies prior to election years which were not confirmed until during the election year, but still no argument to be found in pointing this out.

One of the worst arguments was seen on Facebook by Amberley Young on Senator Scott’s page: “Politicians need to stop being babies and do what they were elected to do. It is the job of all 3 branches to work together not stomp their feet and shut down the government when they don’t get their way.”

As screwed up as our government is, can you imagine the trouble We the People would be in if all three branches worked together? There is only one way that ends and it’s not good for us.  Our government is divided up for a reason; to provide checks balances to protect the citizens from abuse of power and this is called “Separation of Powers” for a reason. Keep that in mind as you read Article II Section 2 of the Constitution:

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

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.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

Many things are divided among the different branches in an effort to protect us from government. If everything were to be determined by one individual in the Oval Office, that person would be a ruler akin to a king, and our system was designed to be far from anything which would create such.  It matters not, what anyone “believes” should happen or why based on some arbitrary precedents. All that really matters is that the Executive Branch does not have the authority to place whoever he wants onto the Supreme Court, he ONLY has the authority to suggest (nominate) someone.

The Senate’s job is advice and consent. That certainly doesn’t mean to rubber stamp a nominee. For those who are products of government education, consider the following definitions:

Advice: an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct, etc.

Consent: permission, approval, or agreement;

The power of the Senate is a limited as well because they cannot just choose whoever they want, but rather they have to approve from those who are nominated by the Executive Branch. Imagine your 16 year old daughter brings home a guy you do not like. Do you, as a parent consent to her going out with him? Perhaps you advise her on making better choices? Regardless of how old or young we are, we are human and not of us are without bad choices in our lives.  Just think of the wisdom of our Founding Fathers to build in firewalls to protect us from from bad choices those in our government could make.  Our problem today is that many of those firewalls have been breached over the past two centuries. We the People are now being threatened with another breach and if history teaches us anything, it will likely end with political expediency rather than in favor of the people is was designed to protect.