Noonan writes that it’d be better to wait to replace Scalia:
Either way half the country will be half happy, half unhappy, but the country will have chosen. That they made the decision will allow people to accept the outcome more easily—either a real change in the ideological makeup of the court, or a court whose rough and not always predictable balance has been preserved.
We take a swerve or stay where we are. But it will be the people who swerved or stayed.
For President Obama to leave the Scalia replacement to the next president would be an act of prudence and democratic courtesy. He of course says he will put a nominee forward. What a thing it would be if he changed his mind.
The Republican Senate has every right by law and precedent to block his nominee. They moved quickly after Scalia’s death, and with startling unanimity, to announce they would do so. This had the virtue of clarity and the defect of aggression. Still, their ultimate stand is right.
It should be noted there’s no reason to believe leaving it to the people will guarantee conservative outcomes.
I close with a thought about an aspect of modern leftism that is part of the context here.
There is something increasingly unappeasable in the left. This is something conservatives and others have come to fear, that progressives now accept no limits. We can’t just have court-ordered legalized abortion across the land, we have to have it up to the point of birth, and taxpayers have to pay for it. It’s not enough to win same-sex marriage, you’ve got to personally approve of it and if you publicly resist you’ll be ruined. It’s not enough that we have publicly funded contraceptives, the nuns have to provide them.
This unappeasable spirit always turns to the courts to have its way.
If progressives were wise they would step back, accept their victories, take a breath and turn to the idea of solidifying gains, of heroic patience, of being peaceable.
Don’t make them bake the cake. Don’t make them accept the progressive replacement for Scalia. Leave the nuns alone.
Progressives have no idea how fragile it all is. That’s why they feel free to be unappeasable. They don’t know what they’re grinding down.
They think America has endless give. But America is composed of humans, and they do not have endless give.
Isn’t that what we’re seeing this year in the political realm? That they don’t have endless give? And we’ll be seeing more of it.