Antonin Scalia is an underrated figure in American history. He spent 30 years on the Supreme Court defending our Constitutional rights. “He was a jurist of captivating brilliance and wit, with a rare talent to make even the most sober judge laugh,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the Supreme Court with Scalia for over 20 years and several years with him on the DC Circuit Court. Despite their idealogical differences, Ginsburg said that she and Scalia were “best buddies”.               

   “Since the day Ronald Reagan nominated him to the Court, for three decades, Scalia has embodied a fidelity to the Constitution, that is the essence of a Supreme Court Justice. As Reagan was to the Presidency, Scalia was to the Supreme Court,” – Ted Cruz.

A young Ted Cruz with the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
      “Justice Scalia is someone I have revered my entire life. Since the day Ronald Reagan nominated him to the Court, for three decades, Scalia has embodied a fidelity to the Constitution, that is the essence of a Supreme Court Justice. As Reagan was to the Presidency, Scalia was to the Supreme Court. His passing leaves an enormous vacuum on the Court,” Ted Cruz told a reporter from Independent Journal Review. Cruz knew Scalia personally through his time arguing cases before the Court as Solicitor General of Texas, and his job as a clerk for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who was also a brilliant defender of the Constitution.     

     Senator Cruz was the only current Presidential candidate to attend Justice Scalia’s funeral, and had more kind words about Scalia’s legacy, “Scalia single-handedly changed the course of American legal history. He returned the course to examining the text of the Constitution and the original understanding rather than engaging in legislative efforts in the name of a ‘Living Constitution.'”

 
      I have a bad feeling about these Republicans in the Senate, most of whom fold like a lawn chair anytime Obama so much as whispers the term “government shutdown”. I pray they don’t cave like they do on everything else and allow President Obama to use Scalia’s death as an opportunity to put another radical, judicial activist, Wilsonian liberal on our nation’s highest court. Ya know, like the pretentious left wing professors who’ve spread like a disease throughout higher education that talk about a “living, breathing Constitution”.  

      Based on recent history alone, the odds that they hold the line and take a stand for freedom, the odds of that happening are not in our favor. Whether it’s defunding Obamacare, raising the debt ceiling, stopping Obama’s disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal in the Senate, etc. most Republicans in Congress refuse to take a stand on any of the issues they campaign on. We have maybe 50 or 60 solid conservatives out of 247 Republicans in the House of Representatives, most of whom are part of the House Freedom Caucus; and about 15 out of 54 in the Senate. 

     New York Senator Chuck Shumer, who is likely to succeed Harry Reid as Senate Minority Leader, harshly criticized Republicans for their opposition to Obama picking the nominee. “This kind of obstructionism isn’t going to last. And you know, we Democrats didn’t do this. When in the — we nominated — we voted 97-0 for Justice Kennedy in the last year of Reagan’s term,” he said on ABC’s This Week. Maybe old age has caused Schumer to forget that 18 months before the end George W. Bush’s Presidency he took the exact opposite stance, claiming the Court was too far right for another Bush appointed judge. “We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” he said in 2007.

         Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee​, has shown some ankle on the issue of Obama choosing Justice Scalia’s replacement.

Chuck Grassley with fellow Iowa GOP Senator Joni Earnst, both of whom have been a disappointment to conservatives.
 On Feb. 13 Grassley came out firmly opposed to this, citing an 80 year precedent of the Senate not confirming Supreme Court nominations made by lame duck presidents. Three days later​ he was heard singing a slightly different tune during a radio interview, “I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions. In other words, take it a step at a time.” At 82 years old this ancient relic of the Senate has been in Congress for 41 years, and is one of many examples of the need for term limits in Congress.     

      Fortunately Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed earlier this week that there will be no Senate hearings for an Obama Supreme Court nominee. But McConnell is a proven liar and I don’t trust him, John Cornyn, or Lindsey Graham, among several other establishment GOP Senators. I’m especially worried now Obama was flirting with the idea of nominating one of their own: the liberal establishment Republican Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval. So please Mitch McConnell, for the first time in your pathetic and shady political career, don’t let us down. 

     “The President can nominate whomever he wants. He has that authority. He certainly has power to appoint someone. The Senate has the power to advise and consent and we have advised that an appointment in an election year will not be voted on. We are only one Justice away from having a court that is unrecognizable. This election will determine the course of the Supreme Court, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for the next generation. The American people should decide,” Senator Cruz said in response to Obama’s statement that he will nominate someone to replace Scalia. 

     Cruz has said that he will “absolutely” filibuster anyone that Obama nominates for the Supreme Court, adding, “If liberals are so confident that the American people want unlimited abortion on demand, want religious liberty torn down, want the Second Amendment taken away, want veterans memorials torn down, want the crosses and Stars of David sandblasted off of the tombstones of our fallen veterans, then go and make the case to the people. I don’t think the American people want that.”  

      If I was Antonin Scalia’s family I wouldn’t want some arrogant Marxist like Barack Obama at the funeral. This president is shredding the Constitution that Justice Scalia dedicated his life to protecting. Personally I appreciate that Obama was absent from Saturday’s ceremony, he’s not worthy of such an event.

     I think every presidential candidate gave lip service to Justice Scalia’s passing, but only one cared enough to take time off the campaign trail and show up at the funeral. I expect this kind of indecency from Obama, but I am quite disappointed that Ted Cruz was the only Republican presidential candidate at Scalia’s funeral.  

    “That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break. But you would have to be an idiot to believe that. The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things,” Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. 

 

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Written By Jason O’Day, Founder and Operations Manager of American Exceptionalism