Many of us will be tempted to debate the next Supreme Court nominee. Most of us, including myself, are woefully unqualified to do so. I won’t fall into the trap of pretending to be a Constitutional expert. But as a graduate of middle school civics, this I know: An independent, non-partisan judiciary is, by design, the ideal.
Today’s Los Angeles Times headline labeled the departed Antonin Scalia an “ardent conservative.” No one on any point of the political spectrum would argue with that ID. So, what in the hell was he doing on The Supreme Court in the first place? By all accounts, Scalia was a brilliant man, and he was also unapologetically, politically, a capital ‘C’ Conservative.
For his obvious and open partisanship, Scalia never belonged on the Court. He should have run for office or headed up a think tank. If he had gone into media with his brains and wit he would have run circles around the likes of Michael Moore and Bill Maher.
In the real world, of course, justices are human beings with political leanings and presidents look for like-minded nominees. I get it. But that doesn’t mean we cynically dismiss and discard a founding cornerstone of the Republic. Politicians and pundits used to at least pretend to believe in an independent judiciary.
So who should fill Scalia’s seat? I am a self-proclaimed “ardent liberal” and I want a Supreme Court that keeps conservatives in check. Believe it or not, I also want a Supreme Court that keeps liberals in check. That’s the beauty of our system, check and balance between the three branches of government. Again, I’m flaunting my middle school expertise, here.
Charles Bursell is a writer, performer, host and commentator heard nationally on SiriusXM, National Public Radio, and The Pacifica Radio Network. He currently hosts the podcasts Stream of Consciousness Talk Radio Theatre and Conversations With Charles Bursell. Both shows, and more, can be found on several platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes) and Libsyn.com.