Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators should avail themselves of a golden opportunity to shape the composition of the Supreme Court, necessitated by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, rather than reflexively staking out an inflexible position that could backfire and imperil the leaning of the court for decades.
If Sen. McConnell engages with President Obama with respect to filling the vacancy, he would be positioned to use the leverage he currently enjoys to spur the nomination of a candidate his party finds palatable. Instead he appears to prefer political theater. If a Republican wins the White House, and Republicans retain the Senate, Mr. McConnell’s gamble will have paid off.
But if Democrats control the Senate? It is doubtful that they would approve a nominee with perspectives and convictions similar to Justice Scalia. If the Democrats win both the White House and take control of the Senate, the president’s nominee, whose seating the Republicans would be powerless to prevent, could very well be their worst nightmare.
To forgo an outcome over which you have control in favor of a potential outcome over which you may have no control at all strikes me as being imprudent.
Mark Wilson, Fresno