Webster Quote

Webster Quote

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Supreme Court Vacancy

Supreme Court Fight a Harbinger of More Serious Trouble Ahead?


I felt sadness early Sunday morning as I caught up with the news of Antonin Scalia's passing the previous day.  Human beings are social animals, but in one sense we pass to the next life alone.  The process inspires something like awe, along with sadness, and even fear.

Accompanying news of Mr. Scalia's death was news that Mitch McConnell had announced the U.S. Senate under his leadership would not so much as hold hearings on any nominee of President Obama's, ostensibly because Mr. Obama is in his last year of office, a clearly ridiculous position.  As a matter of fact, some 14 nominees have been appointed to the Court in the final year of a President's term, according to my source.  

Whether this strategy of the Republicans will succeed or backfire remains to be seen.  And how much harm such a tactic can do to the country also remains to be seen.  But of more concern is whether this move by recalcitrant and rebellious Republicans will be a harbinger of a future major crisis in Constitutional government in the U.S.  

One reason for the concern is the increased polarization of the political parties.  The cause of this polarization is related to the economic dislocations and the accompanying anger and fear felt by ever so many people.  Even a cursory reading of American history shows increased governmental instability or stress during such times.  

It seems to me this is a time for the people as individuals and working collectively to draw together in humility and solidarity in order to preserve the public good and the viability of the government.  At the very least we need to be thinking about what lies ahead and to begin planning and preparing to shore up government while there is still time to do so.  



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