Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I see a political rant coming on...

OK folks, here's the deal. As a person in possession of a Bachelor's Degree in politics, a citizen of the US, and someone who has read the Constitution, for fun, several times, I think I have a pretty solid grasp on the basic building blocks of our country. 

For those of you who may not know, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away earlier this week. President Obama gave a brief memorial speech, and promised to uphold his Constitutional responsibilities by nominating a replacement. 

But since this is America and 2016 and our political system has practically been reduced to a farce (I mean, come on people, Donald Trump?), Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (sorry if I botched the spelling), a republican, has stated that his party will delay the confirmation refuse to confirm anyone that Obama nominates, regardless of who that person is. They claim that the nomination should be made by a president chosen by the people after the 2016 election. Apparently, they are forgetting that, unlike the last *republican* president, Barack Obama was actually elected by the people to his office. They didn't seem to mind so much when Bush made appointments. 

Anyways, here is the text, straight from the US Constitution (you can find the transcribed text at www.archives.gov) regarding the President's role:

"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; 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 which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."

That seems pretty cut and dry to me. Not only does the President, whoever he may be, have the power to nominate SCOTUS justices, but he shall do so. I also fail to see a caveat in regards to a president's final year in office. Seeing as Mr. Obama took the Presidential oath of office, it looks to me like he is constitutionally required to nominate Scalia's replacement.

Furthermore, Senators take an oath of office as well. The full text is below:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Again, this is pretty straightforward. Each senator, regardless of party, has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution. By refusing to confirm a nominee put forth under our current president, they are failing to support the Constitution, and those who stand by and do nothing to stop this from happening are just as forsworn, by failing to defend the Constitution against those who would dismiss part of it. Not to mention failing to "faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which [they are] about to enter". 

In short, I think it's not only petty and childish of the republican party (including presidential candidates, mind you) to refuse to confirm any Obama nominee, but it's clearly a breach of their oaths of office, and the Constitution. Their knee-jerk, anti-Obama/democrat reactions are immature, sickening, and completely inappropriate for anyone holding public office. 

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