Monday, February 15, 2016

It Shouldn't Be that Important

Mixed in with all of the vitriol and flat-out celebrating from liberals on social media and the internet Saturday following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia--a perfect example of the "tolerance" preached by those on the left, but not actually practiced--there was one bit of great insight.  Ross Douthat of the New York Times offered a thoughtful retrospective on Scalia's term on the high court and finished it with a paragraph on the knock-down-drag-out-fight that will ensue between Congress and the White House over naming a successor before the Presidential election.

Douthat points out that Scalia himself would hate the idea of Congress delaying the appointment of a new Justice--and making that appointment the key issue in a Presidential election--because Scalia didn't believe the Supreme Court should have that big an impact on the average American's life.  As a Constitutionalist, Scalia believed that the role of government should be limited.  That's why when you read the list of Amendments dating back to the early days of the Republic, you notice that they list all of the things Congress shall not do. 

Scalia hated that the Court had to decide if the Government can force you to buy health insurance--and his dissent against Chief Justice John Roberts actively seeking a loophole in tax law to preserve the Affordable Care Act (even though the attorneys for the Obama Administration never even made that argument) is an opinion that law school students will be reading for generations.  It would have been fun to see Scalia remain on the bench if Bernie Sanders somehow pulled off the greatest miracle in modern political history by first getting elected President--and then getting Congress to pass a single proposal--and trying to expand Government control of our lives even more.

But now he is gone.  And there likely won't be a day that goes by that both sides won't be telling their hardcore supporters that replacing him will be the "most important issue facing this country"--when that is the last thing Justice Scalia would have ever believed.

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