The nation was sad to hear about the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia passed away in the beginning of February after suffering a heart attack at the age of 79. Now it is up to Obama appoint a new successor, which makes many Republican Senators nervous. This has the power to reshape American Law and there are several differences of opinion.
Funeral to honor Scalia
Though political officials are all on different sides at the moment, they were all able to come together to pay respects to Scalia at his funeral. The funeral mass took place at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, Senator Ted Cruz, and fellow justice Clarence Thomas were all in attendance. Most notably missing from the funeral were President Barrack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Their absence was one that was criticized by some Republicans.
New successor troubles
Republicans believe that in Obama appointing a successor for Scalia, a consequential shift would be noticed in the court, which would create a liberal majority. This is what would cause American law to be reshaped and changed. When the party changes in the White House, there is a chance of an impact on the court, obviously because Republicans and Democrats do not tend to see eye to eye. Obama has been given the opportunity appoint a new successor, who would be the deciding vote, as the court is currently divided on several issues. It is a power he holds, but Republicans are worried.
Last court nomination and problems ahead
The last time a similar situation presented itself was in 1991, which was when the famous Thurgood Marshall retired. He was known for his liberal views, while his replacement, Justice Clarence Thomas, was better known for his conservative views. Appointing a new successor might cause a shift when it comes to abortion rights and gun rights. Business interests would have less success, while consumers and workers would have more. Obviously these types of changes wouldn't just happen overnight, but a change is certain to be seen over time.
Current court members
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan are the current liberal bloc of members. They tend to work together and vote together, but have been outnumbered by the current five Republican appointees. When an additional liberal vote comes into play, changes will be seen.
Scalia's death impacting California politics
Before Scalia's death the Supreme Court was working on the Friedrichs case in California, which went over whether the California Teachers Association should require nonmembers to pay fees. It was almost certain that the vote would go 5 to 4 against the union, however after Scalia's death, the vote is left at an even 4 to 4. This case will now have to await the appointment of a new successor or let the lower court ruling stand, which ruled with the teachers union.
So you can see Scalia's death is really causing a lot of issues between each party. We will have to wait to see how Obama moves forward with appointing a new successor, and if it will in fact reshape United State politics.