CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Unprecedented decisions on abortion, immigration and union rites are at stake if Congress and President Obama can’t agree on a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Justices are appointed for life, and their political persuasion can shape how they interpret the constitution. President Obama has the right as president to name a successor, but Congress has the right to reject it.
Political Consultant Tony Cignoli told 22News, “Does he go with a member of the United States Senate like Orin Hatch, a Republican, as a consensus; or does he really try to fight the fight here and stick by his guns? Any way he plays this, it’s going to be difficult.”
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Americans may not have a direct say in who becomes the next Supreme Court Justice, but we do elect the president and members of Congress who make that decision. And with this being a presidential and congressional election year, leaders will be looking and listening to what voters say about this.
Diane Miller of East Longmeadow said, “I think it should be delayed until the people choose a president, since it’s going to have a lot of bearing on future decisions.”
Other local residents told 22News the country can’t wait 11 months for a new president to appoint a new justice.
Antonin Scalia is only the second justice to die in office since the 1950’s, and even more rare is for it to happen in a presidential election year, with a Congress so deeply divided by partisan politics.