THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT VACANCY

    Much has been written and said about filling the Supreme Court’s vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
    President Obama vows that he will do his duty under the Constitution by nominating  a qualified candidate to fill the vacancy. Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, vows he will do his duty to his political party and block any nomination President Obama makes without a confirmation hearing. The public should consider whether an elected official has a greater duty to fulfill his obligation under the Constitution (as he took an oath to do) or do what his political party demands, but that is just an esoteric debate that will have no impact whatsoever on the decision that will be made by Republicans.
    Please recall that Senator McConnell said following President Obama’s first election that it would be his party’s agenda to make sure that President Obama was a one-term President. And, that is exactly what he and his party have done ever since. Therefore, when McConnell says no nominee, regardless of qualifications, will be confirmed, you should take him at his word. If his own words and his party’s obstructionism for seven (7) years isn’t enough, just consider the political weight of every Republican Presidential candidate saying the Senate has a duty not to confirm any nominee. No Senator will dare incur the wrath of his party.
    One aspect of this stalemate has not been sufficiently considered and that is the terrible price to be paid by a potential nominee.
    President Obama will nominate someone. That person’s credentials will be slammed by Republicans because they will believe it is more palatable to the public for them to  oppose a nominee on the basis of qualifications rather than partisan politics. Once the nominee is publicly bashed for months on end in the media, that nominee will have no chance of being confirmed at a later date regardless of the outcome of the election. As a practical matter, whoever consents to being nominated is consenting to be a sacrificial lamb. That person’s ambition to be a United States Supreme Court Justice will be at an end. It is a high price to ask of anyone. I am certain the wily Mitch McConnell knew just that when he made his promise.