Seeds: Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away at the age of 79. Scalia was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and became a conservative icon by protecting the right to own firearms, standing against the pro-choice decision on abortion in Roe v. Wade, and opposing last summer’s legalization of same-sex marriage.
Core: Scalia’s death now poses an issue for both the Senate and the current presidential candidates. The Republican-controlled Senate now has to decide whether or not to allow current President Barack Obama to appoint Scalia’s replacement in the Supreme Court, or to put the decision off until a new president is elected. If the Senate decides to postpone the decision, then the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice will become a point of contention between the candidates.
Skin: The media awaits the decision of the Senate as to whether President Obama will appoint a new justice, or if the newly elected president will.
Leaves: Justice Scalia’s death could mark a shift in the balance of the Supreme Court. If a liberal judge is appointed by President Obama, or a potential Democratic nominee, it will be the first time since President Nixon's terms that the conservatives are outnumbered in the Supreme Court. This could mean more liberal rulings in some of the upcoming court cases, specifically, the passing of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which was introduced following last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference and whose enforcement was delayed by a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling.
Food For Thought: What do you think the Senate will decide to do? Should they allow President Obama to appoint the new justice, or should the decision be made by the next president? Tell us what you think.
Think we missed something? Tell us in the comments.