The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court minus Antonin Scalia.(Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing/Salon)

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Will There Be Justice for the Supreme Court?

November 9, 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. is the highest court in the nation. The president has the power to nominate a new justice when there is a vacancy within the court. This year however, Republican Senator John McCain has stated that all Republicans will unite against appointing a new Supreme Court justice if Hillary Clinton is elected.

When a president nominates a potential justice, this nominee has to be confirmed by the Senate in order to be elected. The sitting president usually picks someone who is from their party and agrees with their judicial philosophy. They also take into account if the nominee has had a varied background, in order to bring more balance to the court. Currently, two of the justices are 80 years or older, and a third is 78, which means the next president will more than likely have an opportunity to make one or more nomination in this term alone.

With the election happening in the near future, Senator McCain decided to speak on behalf of all of the Republican Senators by stating, “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.” He also added that it’s of great importance to him that the Republicans take back control over the Senate.

The Supreme Court has been running on eight justices since February, and it usually has nine. President Obama made a nomination of his own, but the Senate denied it, saying they wanted the next president to appoint the next justice.

The constitution states, “The President… shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court and all other Officers of the United States…” While McCain isn’t fully in violation of the constitution by saying what he has, somebody has to be appointed as a justice, which will never happen if the Senate continues to block all of Clinton’s nominations, if she becomes president.

McCain’s spokesperson, Rachael Dean, also added that McCain believes, “you can only judge people by their record, and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees.” When the possible problem of no new justice went viral, she later backtracked and said that McCain, “will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications.”

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