It was quite shocking to learn that Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead.
It is not surprising that the GOP has vowed to reject any replacement that President Obama nominates
It definitely makes this election even more critical to the future of the U.S.
Naturally, there is a lot of tone-policing going on. Scalia was a very divisive figure, and his decisions have directly harmed minorities, so it’s not particularly surprising that his demise was met in various quarters with glee and celebration.
It’s an honest response to the death of someone who has deliberately working against you, and I don’t begrudge that of anyone.
It is unseemly to ask the people who are actively harmed by someone’s ideas to just meekly accept and be kind to people who voice those harmful ideas and to not fight and stand up for themselves. #PureApplesauce
Differences of opinions can and will cause (hopefully merely verbal) fights, and people will be (hopefully only emotionally) hurt #DemocracyIsMessy but tone policing is unhelpful at best and can actively support injustice and oppression.1
If you don’t want people to talk crap about you when you’re dead, perhaps consider being less of a jerk when you’re still alive. #jiggerypokery2
Don’t tell me not to speak ill of the dead if you regularly speak ill of the still living3
Antonin Scalia was no angel4
But I get it. People are complex. No one is wholly evil or utterly good. But doing normal decent things that many civilized human beings would do certainly doesn’t negate the things you did that significantly harmed other people. #MysticalAphorismsOfTheFortuneCookie5
But right out of the gate, the GOP is demanding that President Obama not name a successor so that the next POTUS can do it.
There are 337 days until Inauguration Day.
The longest delay between nomination of a candidate for SCOTUS justice and a vote was 125 days, 100 years ago.
The longest vacancy was 835 days, during John Tyler’s presidency. Tyler was William Henry Harrison’s VP, running on the Whig party ticket. After Harrison died after catching pneumonia shortly after Inauguration Day, Tyler became president and tried to eviscerate his own party, with his cabinet eventually resigning, Tyler eventually getting thrown out of the Whig Party, and Congress trying to impeach him.
I’m not sure it’s valid to compare a popular two-term president with a guy who became president without ever being elected whom his own party hated.6
7 Things To Know About Presidential Appointments To The Supreme Court • 2016 Feb 14 • Domenico Montanaro • NPR
The GOP wanting to keep Scalia’s spot vacant until inauguration day is bullshit, but at least an eight justice court that can split 4-4 will end up working against them7
2016 Feb 16 • Tierney Sneed • Talking Points Memo
2016 Feb 14 • Michael Hiltzik • Los Angeles Times