As contentious as last night’s Republican debate in South Carolina was, with accusations and personal insults flying from all directions, the 2016 GOP candidates for the White House did manage to agree on one point: President Obama should not appoint a successor to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday in Texas.
On the face of it, what the Republican candidates said is not exactly surprising, but then again, consider this: the GOP is continually saying the President doesn’t do enough, yet when he attempts to do what is mandated under the Constitution, they start to carp and want him to neglect his duties.
Ted Cruz took the award for most over the top and angry response when asked what he thought about a replacement for Scalia coming from President Obama:
We are one Justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states. We are one Justice away from a supreme Court that will reverse the Heller decision, one of Justice Scalia’s seminal decisions that upheld the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. We are one Justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans, and the stakes of this election for this year, for the Senate, the Senate needs to stand strong and say ‘we’re not going to give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee.’
The GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, who was loudly booed on several occasions by the debate audience, received cheers when he said that when Obama names a successor to Scalia, the Senate should “delay, delay, delay.”
Adding to the chorus of delay, Ben Carson commented:
We should not allow a judge to be appointed during his time.
In what turned out to be a perfect moment of historical trivia, Cruz also said that no Supreme Court justices were confirmed in election years for 80 years. Sounds good, but is also incorrect. Justice Anthony Kennedy was nominated to the high court in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and not confirmed until 1988. Apparently Senator Cruz, who clerked on the Supreme Court, doesn’t know what he’s talking about once again.
Here’s a video of the remarks from the GOP candidates on a Scalia replacement:
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