The Contest Over the Supreme Court - raw political power

Charles Krauthammer usually gets to the heart of a particular controversy. Here is an excerpt from a piece he has written about the struggle over finding a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia.
Let’s understand something about the fight to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin (“Nino”) Scalia. This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony - brazenly, embarrassingly so.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431564/supreme-court-republicans-senate-obama-nomination

I suspect many people in the country believe that the Presidency is the most powerful branch of government. Because of this belief, they think that President Obama should get what he wants. Thus, they feel that for the Senate to either reject by vote or reject by not holding hearings on a nominee is "unfair" and "un-Constitutional."

However, Constitutionally, the branches of government have a balance of power relationship. It is equally "Constitutional" for the President to veto an act of Congress as it is for the Congress, if it is able to, to over-ride a veto. The President can propose a budget but the Congress can modify it or propose their own. That is how the system was designed.

Thus, in regards to the Supreme Court, the third branch of government, though the President selects a nominee to the Supreme Court, the Senate may approve or disapprove. And likewise, the Supreme Court can rule that an executive action of the President or a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional. This is the balance of power built into the Constitution.

I go back to the premise: I suspect many people in the country believe that the Presidency is the most powerful branch of government. 

Thus, when the Supreme Court has overturned an action of this President, or has take up cases where it is possible to overturn an action of this President, his supporters are outraged. They castigate the Supreme Court members who would dare challenge his actions. And, of course, now when the Senate is planning on using it's "advise and consent" power, the critics decry this move. These objections reflect a belief that the President's political power trumps the other two branches.

It is about power, raw political power. Yes, people can claim they are doing it for the good of the country and for idealogical reasons. Both sides do it but it is about power, raw political power and we should be honest about it.

UPDATE: Wonder how successful will the #NoHearingsNoVotes campaign will be? The President will use his political power to get what he wants. Will the Senate use their political power to protect what they want?





UPDATE: Heard Chuck Todd on the Hugh Hewitt radio show talking about the SCOTUS vacancy. He thought President Obama had two options: (1) go with a left nominee that will be rejected out of hand and use that fight as a political hammer for November (2) go with a moderate the might get confirmed especially if the Democrats win the White House and/or Senate in November.

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