Replacing Justice Scalia

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Replacing Justice Scalia

Cody Owen, Opinion Editor

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The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a sad event, but offers President Obama an opportunity to make his time as president be felt for decades to come. The selection of Supreme Court justices is one of the best ways for a president to extend their legacy. Justice Scalia, for example, was appointed during the Reagan administration, and has been affecting major issues on the Supreme Court since the 80’s.

The issue with this is the recent announcement by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to refuse any nomination made by the president, claiming that the appointment should be made by whoever is to succeed Obama next year, in another show of the partisan gridlock that has characterized the last few years.

Obama should do what he can to appoint a justice before the end of his term. With how much of a toss-up the presidential race is at this time, there’s no way to know what kind of person would be appointed should the appointment be held off till the next president takes office, and it would be in Obama’s best interest to appoint a justice with common views should his successor attempt another assault on the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, he should nominate a more moderate appointee if he realistically wants the nomination to go through.