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Justice Scalia's Death Prompts Political Showdown

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    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death has triggered a monumental political battle. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Monday, Feb. 15, 2016)

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death has triggered a monumental political battle.

    Choosing the replacement for Scalia has many of Republicans calling for the decision to be made after the election, but democrats disagree pointing out President Barack Obama's obligation.

    “It's got to be a moderate, someone incredibly competent, very experienced, very highly regarded and perhaps what would help as well, someone whose ethnic identity is not yet represented on the Supreme Court,” said Sheldon Nahmod, a constitutional law and civil rights professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

    Nahmod said Scalia's loss is already reshaping the presidential campaign.

    "This is not in the future, the future is now, this is happening right now, this will bring the issue front and center,” Nahmod said.

    There are names already being mentioned as possible successors to Scalia, such as Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford.

    The debate over the pick may also impact Republican Senator Mark Kirk’s re-election, though he isn't saying if he wants the job. Kirk released a statement saying "the political fight erupting about prospective nominees to fill the vacancy is unseemly, let us take the time to honor his life, before the inevitable debate erupts."

    Senator Durbin weighed in late Monday, saying in a statement it is important for the president to announce his choice and a vote be taken.

    While some are focused on Scalia’s replacement, Chicago Attorney Jim Seritella was morning the loss of the Supreme Court Justice.

    “He had a rule, if you were arguing before the Supreme Court, stand up and don't mispronounce the justices names and sit down as soon as possible after standing up,” Seritella said.