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The Senate needs a principal

By Anae Jackson
On March 1, 2016

When the news broke that Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on Feb. 13, within hours Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement stating that they will deny any nominees to fill the ninth justice place.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next supreme court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” McConnell said.

The senate should be able to set aside its partisan issues for the country or be reprimanded.

Shortly after, during the Republican debate, the presidential candidates backed their party by saying they should delay all hearings and have the next president appoint a new Justice.

Since the election of President Obama, the division between the parties has been at its highest causing standstills in bills and in budgets. Some call it good politics, but when are personal agendas put aside for the greater good of the country?

When the people we elect to complete a job that they’ve campaigned for, fail to complete the job, who do we call on to make them do their job?

When the two parties can’t put their differences aside the country suffers. In 2013 the government came to a complete 16-day shutdown for the first time in over 10 years, when the senate could not come to an agreement to approve the budget.  

Nothing worried me more than moment when Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, did a 21-hour filibuster speech to stop the Affordable Care Act stating, “I would note that I’m quite familiar with what is necessary to defund Obamacare.”

In this filibuster he demanded the government shutdown.  

With a little over 11 months left in President Obama’s term, it is his job to fill the empty chair of Justice Scalia. The idea of President Obama picking another lifelong member is the problem for Republicans, but in 1986 President Ronald Reagan appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy within the last year of his term. The republican party had no problem appointing a successor then. The Democratic-ran senate, along with the republicans, approved Kennedy’s decision in a little over 60 days.

With major cases on the books, not approving any of the nominations is indeed detrimental to the country.

A tied up vote in the court’s ruling will hurt the hearings coming up in the books including abortion restrictions at the state level, contraception mandate in Obamacare and many others of high importance.

What does the nation do when the Republican-ran senate have already stated that it will not consider any of the nominees that Obama will appoint? Who will control the senate and demand if a person is fit and well qualified that they be appointed as the next justice?

It is time that the American people stand against the elected officials who don’t perform their duties. It is time that the people demand consequences when personal preferences trump their obligations.

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