U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Feb. 13, 2016. God bless him.
On March 16, President Barack Obama nominated a successor to Scalia and sought the “advice and consent” of the Senate concerning the appointment of D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland. In the more than 240 days since Garland’s name was submitted to the Senate, no formal action has been taken although a number of senators have met with Garland informally.
The Electoral College will likely choose Donald Trump as our next president. We the people, however, voted in greater numbers for Hillary Clinton. And Obama is the current president of the United States, having won both the popular and electoral vote. Twice.
Legal blogger Matt Moody has noted Scalia’s use of the Latin maxim Qui tacet, consentire videtur (in the 1994 case United States v. Irvine). This means, “One who keeps silent is understood to consent.”
Since the Senate has not advised of any deficiency in Garland’s qualifications after eight months, Obama should consider completing his constitutional obligation and appoint Garland to the Supreme Court.