Se­nate should fol­low prece­dent of Scalia vote

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION -

Re­gard­ing Sen. Mark Kirk’s opin­ion piece in the Sun- Times (“Scalia re­place­ment must ‘ bridge dif­fer­ences,’” Feb. 22), Repub­li­cans and Democrats in the U. S. Se­nate unan­i­mously ap­proved the ap­point­ment of Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan’s ap­pointee, An­tonin Scalia, on Sept. 17, 1986. Jus­tice Scalia passed all the tests and was an un­apolo­getic con­ser­va­tive, which he did not at­tempt to hide through­out the ap­point­ment process. The Amer­i­can peo­ple ex­pect the same to­day with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ap­point­ment, no more, no less.

Kirk wrote: “A par­ti­san or ex­treme nom­i­nee would not be pru­dent.”

The Con­sti­tu­tion clearly states the pres­i­dent ap­points and Congress con­sents. The Con­sti­tu­tion in no way what­so­ever pro­claims any of this process to be po­lit­i­cally par­ti­san in na­ture. As such, it is not rel­e­vant if the pres­i­dent chooses a lib­eral, mod­er­ate or con­ser­va­tive nom­i­nee. And the Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity in Congress ( at this time) has no busi­ness de­cid­ing whether to ap­prove an ap­point­ment by the pres­i­dent to the Supreme Court based on the ap­pointee’s political views. The en­tire process has noth­ing to do with this is­sue. The Con­sti­tu­tion calls for Congress to ap­prove a nom­i­nee based upon qual­i­fi­ca­tions, not the political party af­fil­i­a­tion or political be­liefs of the nom­i­nee. Oth­er­wise, Scalia would never have been unan­i­mously ap­proved by Congress. Now there is an ac­tual ( and gen­er­a­tional) prece­dent for Congress to fol­low. Mark Ryan, Or­land Hills

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