In case you’ve sworn off the news for Lent, taken up residence under a rock or were too swept up in your Galentine’s day friend-romances to notice, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Feb 13.
Those of us who are not living under rocks were stunned at the news, but after we read several articles about his major contributions to the court and shed a few tears over Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s parting words to her “best buddy,” we reached back through the recesses of our memories to our high school civics class to understand what would happen next.
But if you are like me, and were more focused on how cute your teacher (who was also the football coach) was, here’s a refresher on what a little document called the Constitution says about Supreme Court appointments.
“The President...shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for…” according to Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution.
Though I’m sure the words of those wise (and brave) high school teachers are now ringing in your ears, don’t get too confident yet. Just moments after Scalia’s death was confirmed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement calling for the Senate to block any nominations from President Obama and wait until the new president is sworn in, almost a year from now.