Monday, February 15, 2016
Good bye, Antonin Scalia
Understand, I never met Mr. Scalia. I have read that, as a person, he was sociable, gregarious, friendly, and quite likeable. I would certainly have liked to have met him. Perhaps I wouldn't now be rejoicing at having outlived him. Perhaps I should be a bit more truthful about why I rejoice in his death. I rejoice that the Supreme Court is now evenly divided between Conservatives (Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy) and Liberals (Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer). Cases that divide Liberals and Conservatives, such as Abortion, Gay marriage, voting rights, and gun control will not be decided by the Supreme Court. The decision by the last appellate court will stand. For example, there is a case coming up regarding labor unions. The Conservatives hate labor unions and would decide the case in a way that is most crippling for organized labor. With Scalia, the decision would be five to four against the unions. Now the decision, if it comes to the Court, will be a tie: four to four. The court will no longer, for the time being, be a reliable tool for the ultra-conservative rich business people in their attempts to squash what little is left of organized labor in the United States.
This stand-off will persist as long as Obama is President and McConnell is the Majority Leader of the Senate. The Senate will not confirm any nominee to replace Scalia that Obama might propose. It will be a pretty exciting election next November for us Supreme Court junkies.