“Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death will trigger a protracted battle over his replacement, one that may not end until 2017 after a new president is sworn into office,” as USA Today is reporting
“The Supreme Court is down to eight members and must move forward with a heavy caseload with that number. As such, the court is effectively deadlocked, with four liberals and four conservatives — although Justice Anthony Kennedy often sides with the left.
“That raises the stakes for the nation’s conservatives — in Congress and prominent legal circles — to derail any nominee President Obama puts forward. Within minutes on Saturday, Republican lawmakers and conservative legal experts were demanding that the seat remain empty until the next president is elected.
“Once a period of mourning is completed for one of the country’s legal and judicial icons, however, the White House is sure to devote its attention to a key question: Is there a left-of-center nominee who could win confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate?
“One name heads that list: Federal appeals court Judge Sri Srinivasan, who Obama put on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. That’s the traditional stepping-stone to the Supreme Court, and Srinivasan won unanimous confirmation with high praise from Republicans.
“Other potential nominees include two of Srinivasan’s colleagues on that court, Judges Patricia Millett and Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who at 63 could be a moderate, compromise choice. Obama is fond of California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, but he likely would have a tough time getting confirmed, along with many others.
“The most likely scenario at the moment would appear to be something familiar to everyone familiar with Washington: gridlock.”
The rest of the article is here.