Obstructionism is not the answer

By Ben Thome

“The Independence Party of Minnesota expects the current administration to fulfill its Constitutional obligations to timely nominate a replacement to the Supreme Court of the United States and to direct the US Senate to responsibly exercise its due process of consideration.”

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With the above resolution, the Independence Party of Minnesota took a strong stand against obstructionism and proclaimed that the government, if it is to be of any value, must function. The State Convention resolved that, with regard to the tragic and unexpected loss of Justice Antonin Scalia, that stagnation is not the righteous path.  Instead, the rule of law and the orderly functioning of government should continue as the Constitution demands. We resolved that the current administration should nominate an eminently qualified candidate to the Supreme Court and, furthermore, that the Senate, without obstruction, should debate and vote upon the nominated candidate.

The Republican Party has taken a stand that rather than continuing to do the job put forth by the Constitution, they will instead abdicate their responsibilities in the hope that in a year, there will be a new and more favorable President in the White House, ultimately hobbling the high court for their own political gambles.  The Supreme Court needs to have its full compliment as soon as rationally possible.  To choose inaction, to not even hold hearings or debate on a candidate regardless of who the President may select is reckless and irresponsible at best.

Make no mistake; this is not in any way an endorsement of the President or who he may nominate.  It is, however, an endorsement of the process.  The President should nominate and the Senate should take up deliberation ultimately voting on the nominee in a reasonable time frame.  This does not mean the Independence Party urges the Senate to approve the nomination.  If a Senator feels that the nominee is not fit to serve on the Supreme Court, they should stand up and be counted by voting against the nomination.

While it may be too late to reverse the politicization of the Supreme Court, we must stand up and say that our last defenders of law cannot be held hostage by political whims. We must draw a line in the sand, one that should never be crossed.  The President’s nominee deserves his or her day before the Senate, and deserves the Senate’s decision on their nomination.  It is what our Founding Fathers enshrined in our governing document, our Constitution.  It is sad that Scalia, the great champion of Originalism, should be “honored” by a threat in such opposition to the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

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