In the wake of the unexpected and tragic passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the critical question of who will replace him on the Supreme Court is on everyone’s lips, particularly the GOP presidential candidates. The question will likely be of extreme interest to everyone voting in the GOP primary.
President Obama already said he will be nominating someone, but it remains to be seen whether the Senate will take up the question while he is still in office.
In an interview Sunday morning with CNN anchor Dana Bash, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was asked his opinion about a vote on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
Bash asked, “Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell all say that the next president should replace Scalia, not President Obama. At the debate it sounded like you disagree. What is your position?”
Bush replied: “I think President Obama is going to submit a nominee, and in all likelihood this person will be out of the mainstream and he’ll be rejected by the Senate. That’s his prerogative. He has every right to do it, and the Senate has every right not to confirm that person. That’s what I said. He clearly has the power to do it, but given his choices of Supreme Court justices in the past the Senate of the United States should not confirm someone who’s out of the mainstream.”
“But if I could just clarify,” inserted Bash, “right now it sounds as though the Republicans who run the Senate aren’t even going to schedule a vote. You think that one should be scheduled?”
“It’s up to Mitch McConnell,” replied Bush. “That’s really not important to me.”
See the interview with Jeb Bush:
Bash asked, “You mentioned what kind of Supreme Court nominee you would pick. Many conservatives still haven’t gotten over the fact that your father chose David Souter for the Supreme Court. A lot of them are still smarting over the fact that your brother’s choice for Chief Justice John Roberts ended up with somebody who helped save ObamaCare. Isn’t this a problem for you that this whole question of a Supreme Court nominee is front and center right now, given conservative skepticism?”
“Well the Souter choice was unfortunate,” replied Bush. “He wandered off into the liberal camp for sure. John Roberts, I think, can be a defended choice, for sure. The Obamacare decision I was disappointed in; but he’s made some really good rulings beyond that. Here’s the deal: I think the lesson learned is, you pick someone with a proven, long-standing record, a history you can point to when [he or she] wasn’t being considered for a nomination to the Supreme Court, when he or she was doing their work, and the consistency of their rulings was what mattered. That’s the Scalia approach. He was very consistent on his interpretation and his rulings, and that’s what we need.”
Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw summed it up: “On the matter of the rules, the Constitution is absolutely clear on this one, though some Democrats suddenly seem to have trouble reading the text. The president is entitled to nominate a replacement justice as soon as he likes and nobody can legally stop him. Then, in their advise and consent role, the Senate will take up the question. There is no time limit mentioned in the Constitution as to how long that might take. Under current Senate rules the nomination must first make it out of Chuck Grassley’s committee and then Mitch McConnell would need to schedule it for a vote before that takes place. And if it takes a long time to get that done, the only people who the senators answer to are the ones who elect them. Sorry, Democrats, but that’s pretty much the end of the story.”