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Senator Tim Scott's Op-Ed on the Supreme Court Vacancy

posted Mar 18, 2016, 10:17 AM by Ocdp Web

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's passing is no doubt a great loss to his family and to our country.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family. His efforts to uphold the Constitution and our country's founding
principles will be sorely missed. .

.       The president and I both agree that the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is a responsibility that the president and the Senate share under the Constitution; however, it is ultimately the voice of the people that should be held in the highest regard when nominating our next justice.

This seat on the Supreme Court should not be used as a political tool to promote a legacy. Instead, it should be used as an opportunity to promote the will of the people.

.      Because an election year, the American people will make clear their preference when they elect our next president in November. This election should be seen as a great opportunity for the people to tell government exactly what they want from the Supreme Court in the decades to come. It is our next president who should be responsible for nominating our next justice to ensure that the people's wants of the future, not of the past, are clearly represented.

     The president's argument that a strict reader of the Constitution would see the post-ponement of the nomination, to hear the voice of the people, as misleading is faulty at best. The Constitution certainly gives the president the ability to nominate a new justice; however, he must do so with the advice and consent of the Senate. 

     This advice virtually mimics the advice that Vice President Joe Biden gave President George Bush in 1992: " .. .it is my view that if a Supreme Court Justice .resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not .- and not - name a nominee until afte the November election is completed." (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16316- 7,6/25/1992)

I, along with my colleagues in the Senate, will stand firm on the principle that Americans should have input in deter-mining who will be the next Supreme Court nominee. The last time the Senate confirmed a nominee in a similar situation
was 128 years ago.


It has been widely understood that for more than a hundred year,s a lame-duckpresident should not be making a lifetime appointment, and that is not something we should. or will ignore. I will continue to fight for our country's right to  have a say in the future makeup of the Supreme Court; the next president must nominate a successor to Justice Scalia who
upholds the Constitution and our founding principles.