(POLITICS, NOT RUNNING)
The heat and passion of political discourse is but a measure of the times, not their cause. And so in this particularly rancorous presidential campaign of 2016, where heat and passion has been felt from both political parties, what we are witnessing is an unsettled electorate wrestling toward an uncertain future.
With a large number of combative issues already facing the country, one more unexpected fissure opened in the crust of our political landscape recently with the sudden passing of associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
In Justice Scalia we had one of the most vocal justices of any era, and perhaps the most politically polarizing of his own. Considered a strict constitutional originalist, Justice Scalia was well known and highly regarded for his sharp-elbowed questioning and scathing dissents.
Today, President Obama nominated chief D. C. appellate court judge Merrick Garland to fill the Scalia vacancy. Though Judge Garland is universally well-liked and has a moderate judicial record, in today’s hothouse political climate no nominee proffered by Obama can stand before the negating Republican-led Senate and expect a hearing much less an up-or-down vote for confirmation. (more…)