Senate should debate appointment

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate has flatly refused to consider the possibility of approving a President Obama appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, making that announcement when the body of Justice Antonin Scalia was barely cold.

The decision is a mistake, not only for the country, but for the Republican Party. The matter deserves an up or down vote, even if the vote would almost certainly be negative. The seat will likely remain vacant for at least a year. The Supreme Court can still operate. In the event of a tie, the appeal before the court fails.

The refusal to even consider an appointment advances the argument that Republicans are obstructionists bearing primary responsibility for gridlock in Washington, D.C.