Date: February 15, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mat Staver
Attorney Mat Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a non-profit litigation, education and policy organization, dedicated to advancing religious freedom the sanctity of life and the family. He is an expert on constitutional law.
On Saturday the news came out that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away in his sleep. He was found in bed with a pillow over his head. His death was ruled as being of natural causes, possibly a heart attack, but the Justice of the Peace that pronounced him dead never examined the body, and the family did not want an autopsy.
Justice Scalia had a high regard for the Constitution, and what it did and did not say. Mat has argued cases before the Supreme Court, and summarizes Scalia’s positions. The justice was especially disturbed by the court rulings in Roe v. Wade, and the recent decision declaring same sex marriage to be “constitutional”. Scalia stated that the U.S. Constitution said nothing about these issues, and the Court should have refrained from ruling.
The big questions now are who Barack Obama will nominate to take the place of the conservative Scalia, and what whether the Senate will move to confirm the nominee, or attempt to put off the selection of the next Justice until the next president takes office.
The implications of this situation are huge, since the court has often ruled with a 5-4 majority, so if there are only eight justices on the court, or a new, more liberal justice is confirmed, future decisions could be affected for decades.
Also discussed are the possiblity Barack Obama could make a “recess appointment”, temporarily bypassing Congress. There are also questions about cases the Court is considering, in which Justice Scalia participated, perhaps already voting, or even writing the official opinion of the court. There are also a number of other cases that may be taken up, which could be decided by a tie vote on the Court that would essentially uphold the decision of the lower court.
The vacancy is also becoming a central issue in the Presidential race.
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