I can’t say I feel sad that Scalia died – I feel sympathy for those who loved him, because they must be sad today, but that’s it.
Nor do I feel happy, although pragmatically of course I’m pleased that the prospects for some important issues now look a tiny bit better.
Mainly, I’m fascinated by how this will change the shape of the election. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Republicans will approve any nomination before the election; even if the nominee is one that seems very good for them – e.g., as “centrist” as a Democratic President can nominate – in the end Senators are answerable to their base, not to their party, and I think accepting any Obama nomination would infuriate their base.
Presidential elections are always about “who will choose the next Supreme Court nominee(s),” but usually the mainstream media ignores that. They won’t be ignoring it this election. And if a Clinton or a Sanders chooses Scalia’s replacement, that will enormously change the landscape for a host of crucial progressive issues, possibly for a generation.
As for Scalia himself… I used to admire him. I thought of him as a man who I disagreed with, but who nonetheless acted out of deep principle, not partisan bias. My rosy view of Scalia was ended by the Bush v Gore decision, which revealed him as unprincipled, partisan, and contemptuous of democracy. (If Scalia is reading this blog from the afterlife – which he is not, because first there is no such, and second if there were he’d have much better things to do than read this blog, but if, he’d no doubt say “get over it!”).
Anyway, feel free to use this post to discuss anything Scalia-related; to facilitate, here’s some Scalinks:
What Scalia’s Death Means For Cases Currently In Process
- What happens to this Term’s close cases? : SCOTUSblog
Scalia’s votes on unannounced decisions are now void, turning some 5/4 decisions into 4/4 undecided cases.
- The Simply Breathtaking Consequences Of Justice Scalia’s Death | ThinkProgress
Similar to the previous link, but lists a couple of additional cases.
- What Antonin Scalia’s death means for Obama’s climate plans – Vox
Politics, politics, politics.
- Supreme Court vacancies in presidential election years : SCOTUSblog
Save you a click: There’s no tradition of not nominating or confirming Justices in the last year of a President’s term.
- OTOH, the argument over recess appointments to the Supreme Court has come up before: Flashback: Senate Democrats in 1960 pass resolution against election-year Supreme Court recess appointments – The Washington Post
- Will the G.O.P. Response to Antonin Scalia’s Death Hand the Election to the Democrats? – The New Yorker
The title is hyperbolic, but – especially if Senate Republicans refuse to confirm any Obama nominee, which seems likely – there’s no question that this election will be, to a significant extent, about The Supreme Court. (Really, it always was about The Supreme Court – but now the mainstream media, and presumably large sections of the public who get their info from the media, will realize that’s what it’s about.)
Remembering Scalia and his legacy
- How Antonin Scalia Changed America>
A symposium of brief comments from notable Scalia admirers, critics, and in-betweens.
- Remembering Antonin Scalia: His 7 Most Hateful and Homophobic Remarks – Towleroad
- Top 5 Scalia Rulings that helped Progressives | Informed Comment
- Scalia-Ginsburg friendship bridged opposing ideologies – CNNPolitics.com
“Ginsburg and Scalia were also the subject of an opera ‘Scalia/Ginsburg’ composed by Derrick Wang that had its debut last spring.”
- The sarcastic lines that made Justice Scalia the king of Supreme Court sarcasm – The Washington Post
- Justice Antonin Scalia’s 10 most memorable lines – CNNPolitics.com