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As I See It

President Obama should nominate next Supreme Court justice



Who should nominate the next justice of the United States Supreme Court? Traditionally, that duty falls to the President of the United States. But some think the nation should wait until after the November election and let the next President be in charge of the nomination process. That would be a mistake, and it would be unprecedented. The Constitution is clear that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice of the Senate, shall appoint judges of the Supreme Court.” The Constitution does not say “unless it is in the final year of a lame-duck President’s term.” President Obama has 340 days remaining in his term. That is plenty of time to appoint a successor to Antonin Scallia. In our nation’s history, the longest wait for a nominee, from the time it was received until the time it got a vote was 125 days. Those seeking a delay are only hoping the next President will be a republican, someone likely to appoint a conservative minded justice. But history has shown that those appointed by republican presidents have sided with liberal justices, and vice versa. Leaving a vacancy on the high court would not be good for our democracy. It could lead to paralysis in our justice system, with one vacant seat on the court likely to produce a lot of 4-4 ties in the court’s decisions. Justice Scalia was known as a literal interpreter of the Constitution clearly says it is the job of the President to appoint a nominee. That is exactly what President Obama should do.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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