Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly over the weekend. Within hours, headlines like “Get Ready for a Fight to Replace Scalia” began to appear and Senate Majority Leader McConnell said, “…this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Without Scalia, the Supreme Court is essentially divided between liberals and conservatives, and many would say it now leans left due to the “swing vote” patterns of Justice Anthony Kennedy. With this being an election year and court cases on abortion, affirmative action, voting rights, and labor unions looming, there is a lot at stake. Let’s look at analysis of all this from a few different viewpoints.
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Snippets from the Left Leaning
Opinion: The GOP’s dangerously dogmatic Supreme Court obstructionism
Washington Post
“For the Senate to shut down the confirmation process would be bad for the court, bad for the country and, ultimately, bad for Republicans.
It would be bad for the court because it would leave a vacancy for more than a year, stretching across two terms and, in any number of important cases, preventing a majority from having a definitive say. (A 4-4 split affirms the lower court ruling and lacks value as precedent.)
It would be bad for the country for similar reasons. Citizens deserve conclusive answers on issues important enough to reach the high court, and divisive enough to split the justices, whether that involves Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Texas’s restrictive abortion law or the role of public-sector unions. They also deserve a functioning political process.”
Snippets from the Right
“As several GOP presidential candidates accurately noted at Saturday's debate, it has been more than eight decades since a Supreme Court vacancy arose and was filled in a presidential election year. There is plenty of precedent for denying Obama the opportunity to make such a consequential appointment on his way out the door; indeed, the Senate has seen fit on several occasions to allow SCOTUS vacancies to sit open for more than a year. Obama has the constitutional authority to name a nominee of his choosing. The Senate has the constitutional authority not to act on it, especially in light of the standard practice when it comes to election year openings.
…The American electorate is in the process of choosing the next president. Votes have already been cast, and the current Supreme Court term is already underway.  The important next step of replacing Scalia can and must wait until the people have had their say.  The direction of the Court hangs in the balance.”
Snippets from the Center
“Normally, an open spot on the exalted bench -- complete with a lifetime tenure and a boatload of benefits -- would have those who labor in the law's dusty obscurity salivating at the chance to crown their careers in the black robes of the nation's highest court. 
But this time, things are different.…A nominee could be left hanging in limbo for a year with no guarantee that, even if a Democrat wins in November, they'll end up on the court. Of course, if a Republican wins the White House, they can forget it.
At worst, if the GOP relents and holds confirmation hearings, the nominee could emerge so damaged by the political tumult that their reputation could be shredded along with their hopes of one day reaching the Supreme Court.”