By Allison Kamel
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died last Saturday in Texas.
At the time this was written, the cause of his death was unclear. He was found dead in his hotel room at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort he was visiting.
Scalia began serving on the Supreme Court in 1986, after being appointed by President Reagan. He was known for making conservative decisions and being an “originalist.” This means that he interpreted the Constitution to mean exactly what it meant at the time it was written in 1789.
With Scalia’s death, the Supreme Court is balanced with four liberal judges and four conservative judges. This leaves a very important question: Will President Obama appoint a new judge to the fill the vacancy?
Because it is an election year, he could decide to not fill the position. He could choose to leave it up to the next president. Even if he does make an appointment, the Senate must approve that choice. As with many of Obama’s initiatives, the Republican-controlled Senate could hold out on accepting that nominee.
Many conservatives are asking Obama to refrain from making that decision. They are calling for Scalia’s legacy to continue by appointing someone who upholds his views.
On the other side, Hillary Clinton posted a statement to her Twitter Saturday night, criticizing Republicans for “dishonoring our Constitution.”
The death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia had an immediate influence on the 2016 presidential campaigns. That impact will only continue to increase, whether President Obama works to appoint a new judge or not.