Don’t let politics obstruct justice

Daily Editorial Board

On Feb. 13, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away of natural causes at a Texas resort. Scalia, during his long service with the court, was well known for his conservative zeal and strict understanding of the Constitution.
 
 
His death has reinvigorated a politically charged battle between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has vowed to block all efforts of President Barack Obama to nominate another Supreme Court justice. Many of the Republican presidential candidates agreed this was the right move and that the president should hold off nominating anyone to the court. 
 
 
However, the Constitution empowers the president to nominate a justice once a spot in the Supreme Court opens. 
 
 
The court’s role in politics has varied in the past — some argue it should remain above the realm of politics, while others argue politics actively shape the judicial process. In any case, the highly politicized opposition to Obama’s right to appoint a new justice effectively prevents the Supreme Court from operating at its full power and thus directly undermines the Constitution.
 
 
Considering how many members of the GOP have previously demanded that Obama limit his actions to what the Constitution demands, it’s ironic that they are now reprimanding him for doing his job. 
 
 
We urge Congress to allow Obama to fulfill his responsibility to nominate a Supreme Court justice and not to block this process simply for the sake of partisan obstruction.