By disregarding a long-recognized procedural convention, and imposing a delay well in excess of customary, Sen. Mitch McConnell opened the door to procedural gyrations in federal judicial appointments.
Last week, the Supreme Court issued its first ruling since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The court's decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could have mortally wounded public sector unions, stripping them of their legal ability to collect the funds to keep their doors open. However, a 4-4 ruling ultimately allowed unions to live another day. Unlike many of my union brothers and sisters, I'm disappointed by the decision, however.
The judicial vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is a problem, yes, but a small one compared to the bigger issue: There are more than 80 other vacancies on the federal bench holding up justice across the country.
Barack Obama: I understand that we're in the midst of an especially volatile political season. But at a time when our politics are so polarized, we should treat a process of this magnitude — the appointment of a Supreme Court justice — with the seriousness it deserves.
It's all there, right in the document the president and each Senator swore an oath before God to support. The president serves for four years. Nothing in the Constitution says, implies, or suggests that the president's duties are abrogated, suspended, stopped, stripped away or limited in the fourth year of his term — or her term, should a woman be elected. Obama's oath of office requires him to nominate a Supreme Court justice. It's that simple: he shall nominate someone to fill the seat