So here’s the thing, a sitting President of the United States has the constitutional authority to nominate someone to the Court right up until the moment the next guy takes the oath of office. Last-year-of–term appointments are almost always challenging and no president ever expects a smooth confirmation process, especially for a nomination to the Supreme Court. Anyone who tells you something different is lying.
Now over in the Senate they have the constitutional responsibility for providing advice and consent to the presidential appointment. What “advise and consent” means is determined entirely by the Senate. That means they’re well within the scope of their authority to call a vote immediately or delay a vote for the next 57 years. Anyone who tells you something different is lying.
You may have noticed I didn’t raise any topic of the politics of court appointments, just a bit of commentary on the mechanics. I’ll leave it to others to try telling you about the politics involved. Just try to remember that if your news source is telling you the president has to do something or the Senate has to do something else they’re probably lying to you. The scope of what the executive and legislative have to do in this situation is pretty well defined if anyone would bother consulting their pocket Constitution before running off at the mouth.
Someone furloughed shouldn’t be working as hard as I am. I got up at 6:30 this morning (Hush, that is sleeping in for people who normally wake up around 5:00), drank a pot of coffee, emailed my usual anti-furlough rant to the members of the Maryland Congressional delegation. I thought about calling them out on Facebook and Twitter, but thought better of it since I was on a schedule. I was on a schedule because I had my six month check up with the ol’ sawbones this morning. Ironically, I picked this doctor at least in part because his practice is not far from the office so it would be easy to slip out and back for appointments. Being Furlough Friday, of course, I believe I have discovered a flaw in what was an otherwise logical arrangement. And, please, don’t get me started on their rescheduling the appointment from yesterday to today with about 18 hours notice.
I could turn this into a long story, but I won’t. As usual the doc is annoyed that my blood pressure is good, blood sugar is well within tolerance, and the acid reflux has been gone now for well over a year without meds. They pulled blood in the hopes of finding something wrong, but I have no reason to expect it will come back as anything but “normal” as it always has in the past. So it was a typical visit – lose weight, less meat, nothing over 10g of sugar.
OK, look, doc. At some point we’re going to have to have a serious discussion about not just health, but also quality of life. Maybe if I eat nothing but tofu, almond milk, and salad with no dressing for the rest of my days I’ll live to be 106… but I’m not sure 71 years without steak, pizza, craft beer, or blue cheese dressing is a world I wish to inhabit. Sure, I’d be alive, but I’m not sure I’d really be living.