Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is Dead.

Quite ironic that Obama will nominate Scalia's replacement: he waited too long. If the GOP refuses to confirm, they're still down one justice. - promoted by Bob_Neer

CNN is reporting that 79 year old Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead in West Texas. He, apparently, died in his sleep.

I was not a fan, but nevertheless offer prayers and sympathy to those who did love him (and everybody has somebody who loves them, thank the good Lord…)

May he rest in peace and in the comfort of the Lord in whom he believed.

And… having said all that… let the crazy begin.


27 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. He'll be remembered for...

    …his biting dissents and his unlikely friendship with the Notorious RBG. It’s too bad legal caliber no longer gets you nearly unanimously confirmed as he was.

  2. Condolences to those close to him

    I am not happy he is dead; I am not happy any person is dead.
    I am relieved he will no longer be a Supreme Court justice.

    Let’s see how long before the GOP plans a one-year shutdown of the government to prevent President Obama from getting an up or down vote on a nominee.

    sabutai   @   Sat 13 Feb 5:49 PM
  3. his death will make tonight's GOP debate

    His death will make tonight’s GOP debate a rush to the judicial right. Will the last remaining semi-normal GOP Senate members be willing to confirm a moderate Obama nominee or risk letting Trump or Cruz fill the vacancy? Wow!

  4. Rafael Cruz is already

    Rafael Cruz is already insisting that the seat remain vacant until the next Presidet, 12 months away, appoint the successor.

  5. Obama needs to act - and quickly

    While it’s sad, of course, when anyone passes – unexpectedly or not – it can not be minimized that any personal tragedy related to this news be dealt with posthaste, and that the President announce an appointment at his earliest realistic opportunity. If there is any possibility of getting a confirmation into the hopper in time for a new Justice to be seated prior to the end of the current SCOTUS term, that nomination needs to be made soon – if possible prior to “Super” Tuesday. Otherwise, Obama could quickly find himself in the same box that LBJ was in back in 1968 (ok, LBJ helped put himself in the box with the failed Fortas nomination), and watch that nomination fall into the hands of his successor. While the vacancy is sudden, any President worth his or her salt, let alone one 7 years into their administration, certainly has a short list at the ready.

    Imho, Obama’s best – and perhaps only – route at this point would be to appoint a sitting US Senator, as the Senate – and especially the Judiciary Commitee – usually tends to be at its least contentious when dealing with one of its own. This would of course require finding a Senator in a safe Democratic seat, and (if a gubernatorial appointment would ensue) a Democratic governor. Anyone here have any suggestions?

    • Re: LRphillips

      Good suggestion. Amy Klobuchar or Kirsten Gillibrand fit the bill. Both solidly liberal female Senators in safe seats with Democratic governors who have judicial experience (Klobuchar was an elected prosecutor, I believe Gillibrand was an AUSA at one point).

    • Imho, Obama’s best – and perhaps only – route at this point would be to appoint a sitting US Senator, as the Senate – and especially the Judiciary Commitee – usually tends to be at its least contentious when dealing with one of its own.

      … Hillary Clinton.

      Let the Republicans choose between Hillary Clinton as POTUS or Hillary Clinton as SJC. I bet a full quarter of them stroke out at the mere notion of that choice.

      I think Obama should swing for the fences on this one. Make it THE ‘fuck you’ he’s always wanted to give the GOP. And there hasn’t been a GOP more deserving of an undistilled, un-alloyed and distinctly supra-political ‘fuck you’ than today’s GOP.

      • uprated, especially

        uprated, especially for the second part of your post

      • What if instead, he appoints Elizabeth Warren

        It would definitely affect a reconsideration of Citizen’s United.

        • Apologies to Long2024!

          My comment was recorded at 8:12PM, just 1 minute before Long2024′s full diary, which I must assume took more than a minute to write, so the two were being composed simultaneously. All I can say, is the full diary is far more thoughtful, and I suppose, “Great Minds Think Alike” as they say.

        • I think...

          … that and EW appointment would be bad, particularly for Massachusetts, and unlikely to have the same effect as appointing HRC. I must confess to wanting to really stick it to the GOP in the utmost here, and feel that Obama has a once in a millennia chance to do exactly that.

          I think an SJC Warren wouldn’t be a particularly good thing for the court, but a terrible thing for Massachusetts. We could get another Scott Brown in an interim appointment and then another wretched special election. I don’t want to do that again

  6. Wonder if they'll pull a West Wing

    One of the better post-Sorkin episodes was ‘The Two Supremes’ had a similar scenario (old conservative dies unexpectedly, old liberal refuses to retire, Dem president with a Republican Senate). And the WW solution was to have a young liberal jurist replace the older liberal whom they convinced to retire and a young conservative jurist replace the just deceased conservative instead of settling on a bland confirmable moderate.

    Obviously it’s a tv show, the stakes were higher since the old liberal was the CJ, and I was on the record here predicting Scalia would predecease RBG and defending her decision not to retire. It would still be an interesting solution, one way to get a true blue liberal without a confirmation battle.

  7. wonder if this will be bad for Trump?

    A reminder to people that this is serious.

  8. The more I think about...

    …what GOP Senate leaders and candidates have said tonight, the angrier I get. They have basically come out and said that they plan to neglect their duties which should be a cause for outrage. This is just more evidence that they never planned to come to DC to actually govern. There’s plenty of precedent for late-term Presidents nominating justices, going all the way back to John Adams’ “midnight judges” which included the great John Marshall. Some current Senate GOPers have been around long enough to have voted for late-term nominations themselves.

  9. If this election is about an obstructionist Congress . . .

    preventing a qualified person from even having a hearing, then the Democrats will do very well. So forget all the deals, and don’t appoint a sitting Senator. Obama should put the best candidate forward and let the Republicans try to obstruct. Ask Cruz and the others following his lead to sign a pledge not to make any appointments in the last year of their terms.
    Show lots of pictures of Senators junketing or fundraising while they are neglecting what the Constitution mandates them to do.
    Running against this Congress is the best possible position to be in this year.

    • Legislative obstructionism could become the defining issue of this campaign

      Scalia’s body was barely cold and the Republicans were vowing not to fill the vacancy. Amazing. They operate somewhere beyond shame. Yet if this drags on through the election, the election turns into a referendum on this appointment and I’ve got to believe “do your damn job” wins.

      • Let’s think for a moment. The Republicans are not obligated to vote in favor of a judge proposed by Obama. Senate confirmation takes 60 votes. The Rs could just delay things procedurally all hearings – then vote against one or two candidates.

        To not lose credibility, they’d have to at least pretend they are vetting the quality of SC candidates, rather than their political persuasion.

        Instead, McConnell boldly says our president should not even choose, thus preordaining the process to gridlock no matter who is nominated.

        With the expected result that D’s will filibuster the next Republican nominee next year.

        Really, these people need to grow up. The reason this is all so contentious is that the SC has become a political office. We forget today that this should not be so. It’s become political because Congress is gridlocked and it does not do its job, and because the Constitution practically can’t be amended.

        So the SC has to pick up a long slack through case law. What fifty states can’t agree to, one Justice controls with the stroke of a pen.

        That, by the way, is why Mass SJC nominations are not as contentious – because our House actually does its job legislating, and because our state Constitution can be amended in practice not just in theory.

        • Senate confirmation takes 60 votes.

          I believe it only takes 50.

          • There are procedural ways to block the nomination with 41 votes.

            • So let them...

              There are procedural ways to block the nomination with 41 votes.

              … and let the world know who is responsible.

              Don’t shy from the fight because they have a particular weapon. Face it. Make them use it and pay the political price for its use…

              • This is why McConnell was dumb

                I think without that statement he could vote for someone like Sri Srivasan who was unanimously confirmed for the DC Circuit seat and had substantial backing from conservative jurists. With that statement Obama might as well nominate a liberal Bork who would have as much a shot as another moderate liberal like a Breyer. Let them reject several qualified nominees in a row and force the Ayottes and Kirks up for re-election to take those tough votes and nail them with it. That’s one way to approach this.

                • There’s a saying by Napoleon – don’t assume evil intent in a government decision when the more likely reason is stupidity. I am paraphrasing, but I think it was McConnell’s weak knee that really jerked.

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