Obstructing the choice of a justice

By Stephen H. Goldberg

The sudden vacancy on the Supreme Court has been followed by an ugly partisan fight over the appointment of a new justice, to a degree that some of the loudest voices in the argument did not have the grace or courtesy to wait until the late Justice Scalia had a funeral and burial before they began to fight for the power involved in the next appointment.

I have had the idea that the Supreme Court did not belong to any party, but to the people of the United States. The Court building does have the words “Equal Justice Under Law” on the entrance to the building. I notice that some people claim that the people might lose some rights under the Second Amendment by an appointment made by a Democratic president. I would answer that more people might lose many of the rights provided by the First Amendment, such as freedom in the area of religion or their right to vote as provided for by the Fifteenth Amendment if a reactionary somehow cloaked as a conservative is appointed to the Court.

The current president, elected by a large majority, has 11 months remaining in his term. He has the right to choose the next Supreme Court justice as much as a Republican president in similar circumstances would have that right. Any argument to the contrary would mark the height of hypocrisy and make a mockery of any claim made by those against apppointing a new justice that they are helping to keep the Supreme Court a place of Equal Justice Under Law.

Stephen H. Goldberg


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