Justice Scalia Dies at 79
US Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia has died at the age of 79.
The vacancy will make an already political year even more controversial.
Had a more liberal justice passed away or retired then having President Obama replace them would be less of an issue but Scalia’s death means the potential to tip the partisan balance of the nation’s highest court. Scalia was also a key intellectual figure on the Court.
While obviously today should be reserved for offering sympathies to his family the issue of his replacement is going to be a major political football. The first debate being whether President Obama will choose a replacement or will the vacancy be left to the next President.
ABC news has reported that DC insiders suggest it is very unlikely Obama would be able to make a pick this far into his term but other sources suggest otherwise.
The most recent example of an election year vacancy goes back nearly 50 years to 1968 when Chief Justice Earl Warren retired to give President Lyndon Johnson an appointment. Warren announced his retirement in June and Johnson tried, but failed, to replace him with Abe Fortas.
If the decision is made that Obama will not appoint a replacement then this would obviously be a HUGE issue in the November elections.