On Saturday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in Texas. With only eight Justices on the Supreme Court now, President Barack Obama can appoint a new Supreme Court Justice.
Scalia’s death has stirred a lot of controversy. Before he passed away, the Supreme Court consisted of five Republicans and four Democrats. Many people think that President Obama should not appoint a new Justice, despite his ability to do so because of the checks and balances system.
Jeffrey Dayton said, “I think that Obama should not be able to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, and instead the next president should appoint one since the candidates are already running and voting is starting to happen.”
The main argument that critics make against waiting for the next president is that with eight Justices, many decisions can result in a tie. Without an odd number of Justices, the Supreme Court would not be able to do much. Waiting almost a whole year for the new president to appoint a new Justice could lead to many problems if decisions result in ties.
“I feel as though Obama will make the right decision in appointing the new Supreme Court Justice,” said Danielle Lucas.
Even though President Obama has the power to appoint the new Supreme Court Justice, the Senate has the power to confirm or reject the nominee. The political controversy comes about because President Obama is a Democrat, but the Senate is controlled by the Republicans.
“I think that this is an extension of what President Obama is trying to do. This would be one of his last big commitments if Congress allows him to do it,” said Mrs. Melanie Rice.