With all the drama happening in the Presidential campaign this year, it’s become even harder to keep track of any other news that’s happening in the world. Therefore, you might be a little confused about what’s happening with the Supreme Court after this weekend. We’re here to help.
First, a little refresher from your AP Gov class in high school: the Supreme Court has nine justices, and they’re appointed for life. When a justice dies or retires, the President nominates a new one, and the Senate has to vote to confirm them. Got it? Good.
So, this weekend, Justice Antonin Scalia died. Scalia was known as one of the most conservative Justices, and loved things like hating gays and telling women what to do with their bodies. Okay, no matter his politics, it’s very sad that he died and we hope his family is doing okay. Either way, his death has created a conundrum.
As you really should know by now, there is a Presidential election later this year. Right now, our President is a Democrat, but that obviously could change after this year. Therefore, the Republicans in the Senate are determined not to let Obama get another Supreme Court nominee. Because Scalia was so Conservative, Obama’s nomination could swing the court to the left, which would be great for women’s rights but probably bad for old white guys. It’s complicated.
The best part of this whole thing is that politicians are now just lying! What? Politicians lying?? Yeah. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was adamant that it’s always been a thing not to approve Supreme Court Justices in Presidential election years, but he apparently forgot that he did LITERALLY THAT EXACT SAME THING in 1988. Of course, he didn’t mind then because the President was a Republican, but it smells pretty shitty to tell everyone that something has never happened before when you’re the one that fucking did it.
So here’s the bottom line: Obama has said that he’ll nominate someone, and half the Senate has said they won’t vote for anyone he nominates. Looks like we might be waiting a year, which will be pretty hilarious if Hillary or Bernie wins in November.