I am not rejoicing the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Yes, he wrote opinions I strong disagreed with. I viewed many of his views as hostile, racist, and anti-constitutional. I felt he favored partisanship over law.
But I also do not want to just write nice things about the dead. Even when Glen Frey died I wanted to scream at people “no, he sucked! He wrote cheesy songs and overpriced concert tickets.” But we love to glamorize the dead.
Within minutes of Scalia’s death I saw posts saying “hey, don’t get all nasty int the comments.” A minute later people were making posts on social media about Scalia burning in Hell and so happy Obama will have another Supreme Court appointment. I felt it was a bit too soon for that. But then the Republicans chimed in.
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, and others chimed in real quick about how Obama shouldn’t have the right to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice. Talk about not politicizing it.
Here’s the thing: The President is elected to four year terms. His term is not suspended because we’re in the political cycle or Ted Cruz pictures himself in the Oval Office. Obama doesn’t just have the right, he has the duty, to appoint a Supreme Court justice. That’s the consequence of elections. Republicans, you lost. Yes, you won the Senate and Congress but you can’t obstruct just to wait for a Republican president, which you’re not going to get in 2017.
Keep in mind that a president’s appointment doesn’t always work out the way he expects. John Roberts validated Obamacare. Sandra Day O’Connor, appointed by Reagan, often sided with liberals.
I know my cartoon focuses on the politics of Scalia’s death. That’s the environment right now. It wasn’t the environment within the first 24 hours. It was minutes. Scalia was a very intelligent scholar. He was actually friends with the liberals on the court (they had a lot in common, being on the Supreme Court), and he wrote opinions I hated. I mocked him. I re-posted the two cartoons I drew on him in 2015. But I do respect him. None of this “burning in Hell” shit. He wasn’t Hitler. I hated his views but I don’t think any of them validate wordings celebrating his death.
Supreme Court justices are the political figures we know the least. We only know them from their written opinions. The Justices tend to be pals with their colleagues who disagree with them, who often write dissenting opinions and vote differently from them. Scalia, for example, always employed a liberal clerk. He wasn’t living entirely in a bubble. l
Obama has 361 days to get a replacement in. The Senate should let that happen.
I planned to take Saturday off. I actually cancelled plans to cover this story. Woe is I, the measly cartoonist.
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