Your Cheat Sheet to All the Supreme Court Justice Drama
What happens when a Supreme Court justice dies, like Antonin Scalia did over the weekend at age 79? The president nominates a successor to be approved by the Senate. Except if you're President Obama, in which case the Senate majority party (Republicans) promises that it won't approve your nomination.
To help you narrow down all chatter around the Supreme Court nomination situation (what does this all mean?!), we bring you five of the most thoughtful articles to read over.
1. The drama
The showdown is already on. Many Republicans who make up the Senate majority say they will challenge the president's nominating authority. In a rare move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came out with the announcement just an hour after Scalia's death was announced.
Read more: "McConnell throws down the gauntlet: No Scalia replacement under Obama" by Politico
2. Has this happened before?
By "this," we mean the president nominating a Supreme Court justice during an election year. The answer is yes; the Senate has voted on eight Supreme Court nominees during an election year since 1900, and six were confirmed. What hasn't happened? The Senate taking more than 125 days to vote on a successor from the time of nomination.
Read more: "Supreme Court Nominees Considered in Election Years Are Usually Confirmed" by The New York Times
3. How Obama wins even if Republicans don't approve his nomination
Say Obama's nomination does get blocked in the Senate. Future arguments will probably end in a tie, considering half the court is liberal and half is conservative. When this happens, lower court rulings remain in place, and many of these lower courts are left-leaning.
Read more: "If Republicans block Obama's Supreme Court nomination, he wins anyway" by The Washington Post
4. Could Obama himself be the next justice?
It's not such a ridiculous idea. If the Republicans get their way and a nomination doesn't come until the next president, Obama could be it. To begin, his background sets him up perfectly for the job — remember his time at the Harvard Law Review?
Read more: "President Obama as the Next Supreme Court Justice? It's Not that Crazy" by POPSUGAR
Obama says the person he nominates will be "indisputably" qualified, according to CNN, so it doesn't look like he's letting the drama get to him — for now.