Thursday, February 25, 2016

Republicans playing fast and loose with our US Constitution (#2582)

     Since the expiration of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a constitutional question has arisen. It has arisen because republicans in the US Senate have announced that they, the majority and therefore in control of Senate procedures, will NOT hold any hearing on filling the heretofore vacated seat on our Supreme Court during the last 11 months of our current President's term in office. The question is then can and should the republican leaders in the senate decline to do their constitutional duty based upon the precedence and meaning of the "Appointments Clause" of the United States Constitution, (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2); which states: "...and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and shall be established by law:"
     Based upon the clear understanding of the words in our Constitution and the precedence that has followed since the beginning of our Constitution, the role that the Senate plays in the appointment process is to give "advice and consent" after the President has made a nomination. Nowhere in the practiced history of our Constitution does it give the Senate any legal role in actually appointing a nominee.
     Therefore, after the President makes his nominee known to the Senate, the Senate then has it's duty to perform the "advice and consent" protocol long established under law. For the Senate to abrogate it's duty to perform it's function is a clear violation of it's duty and in no way can be considered Constitutional. So what is the Constitutional remedy for the Senate acting unconstitutional? I presume we shall shortly find out.

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