February 16, 2016
Pat Buchanan: Leave Scalia's Seat on Supreme Court Vacant
Justice Antonin Scalia at Harvard University. "It was this big. Really."
It is a measure of the stature and the significance of Justice Antonin Scalia that, upon the news of his death at a hunting lodge in Texas, Washington was instantly caught up in an unseemly quarrel over who would succeed him.
But no one can replace Justice Scalia.
He was a giant among jurists. For a third of a century, he led the conservative wing of the high court, creating a new school of judicial thought called “originalism.”
But originalism is not conservatism, which, in the judicial era that preceded Scalia, often meant court decisions that “conserved” the radical social revolution Earl Warren’s court had imposed upon us.
[. . .]
I remember being called into the office of White House Chief of Staff Don Regan, 30 years ago, to be informed that the judge whom Ronald Reagan would name to replace William Rehnquist, who had been named Chief Justice, would be U.S. Appellate Court Judge Antonin Scalia.
Regan was grinning at me as he made the announcement, and I let out of a whoop of victory.
[. . .]
The window for any Supreme Court nominees should be slammed shut — until 2017.
Republicans should tell our “transformative” president that his days of transforming America are over, that he will not be remaking the court into a bastion of the left after his departure, and that, while he has the right to nominate whom he wishes, the U.S. Senate will exercise its right to reject any nominee he sends up. If the court will then face many 4-4 decisions for the next year, so be it.
[. . .]
Republicans should tell the American people that when they vote in November they will be deciding not only the next president, not only which party shall control Congress, they will be deciding what kind of Supreme Court their country should have. Which is as it should be.
If the GOP can’t win this argument, they have lost the country.
Leave the Scalia Chair Vacant
Monday - February 15, 2016 at 10:18 pm
By Patrick J. Buchanan