Dig Baton Rouge

East of the River: Justice for all?

With the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last week, a flurry of excitement and fear was injected into our nation’s already chaotic political landscape. Scalia, the most noted Conservative justice, was known for his biting dissents and very traditional social views. This could be a big opportunity for not just Liberals, but any forward thinking progressives in our country.

Before the poor man’s body was cold though, a GOP Senate staff member had already taken to Twitter, promising the Republicans would do everything in their power to halt President Obama’s nomination. The Senate Majority Leader along with Presidential candidates (and Senators) Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have also come forward with threats to obstruct the nomination process.

In simple terms, Republicans are ready for a fight. So much so, they are ready to muddy up the Constitution to get their way. But why? Why are Republicans preparing for battle when they have no idea who Obama might even elect?

That’s what leaves everything up in the air. Will Obama elect a likable justice who has somewhat middle of the road politics as to shut down the Republicans’ preemptive complaints? Or, will he go for broke in the last year of his presidency and pick someone in the same vein of Elizabeth Warren?

As an Obama supporter, I’m not sure which Obama I want to see. Of course, I love the recent straight-talking, mic dropping, don’t give a damn President we have come to expect in the last year. Obama in his final stages of his presidency is like the guy who finally stopped caring what people thought of him in high school and then all of a sudden every girl wanted to sleep with him.

In a way, I would love that guy to pick the next Supreme Court Justice. But as a pacifist, I can’t get amped for a war the Republicans are ready to create. Our country seems to be ripping itself apart from the inside out right now. We need someone on the Supreme Court who can be fair and unbiased: isn’t that the whole purpose of a justice?

Then again, anytime I read Scalia’s dissent I never heard a word of nonpartisanship. Though I believe everyone has a right to their own opinion, Scalia seemed to base his rulings on his personal beliefs with little empathy for anyone different than him. Maybe it’s the Democrats turn, and duty, to swing the Supreme Court the other way.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham responded to Scalia’s death with a little more aplomb than those who are calling for an outright veto of anyone Obama suggests.

“You better find a consensus choice — half the Republicans should be able to vote for this person,” Graham said.

Graham approved both of Obama’s previous two justices because both were well-qualified, but said he would not extend that courtesy to Obama’s next appointee. So, even the more level-headed Republicans admit that they’re ready to buck up to choices they would have approved of if the timing wasn’t so close to an election.

Obama’s other two Justices he appointed were both women, upping the number of Supreme Court Justices to three instead of one. That’s right, before Obama, there was just one tiny feisty lady sitting up there fighting for the rights of over half the country. Maybe Obama can really pull a feminist move and bring a fourth woman in to really make misogynist’s heads explode.


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