It’s fascinating to see so many journalists and politicians expressing their shock and surprise at the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Donald Trump, for one, called the death a “totally unexpected loss….” This is silly. Common-sense seniors know that 79 year old men die all the time. There is nothing shocking or unexpected about it. Common-sense seniors recognize that the end is coming, and as best we can, we prepare for it.
The framers of the constitution understood our mortality and prepared for it as well. That’s why they created the office of Vice President. With respect to a vacancy at the Supreme Court, the constitution gives the President the power to appoint a new justice, with the advice and consent of the Senate. In their wisdom, the framers gave us an orderly process for meeting the contingency Scalia’s death has created.
What’s shocking is the decision of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to prevent this process from taking place. He has launched the nation on uncharted waters.