On Feb. 13, we learned that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away. Justice Scalia served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States beginning in 1986 and up until his death. With his passing, particularly in today’s divisive political climate, the future of the nation’s highest court is surrounded in question marks.
Scalia was a staunch conservative, and undoubtedly a friend to business, as evidenced by the murmur about what will happen to class-action lawsuits pending before the Court. Elsewhere in this issue of the Report, we talked about how Dow Chemical agreed to pay $835 million to settle a case, rather than continue forward with Scalia’s seat vacant.
Although Justice is supposed to be blind, there is not much question she is sometimes led by politics. It is obvious the gridlock on Capitol Hill is worse than it has ever been, and with Justice Scalia’s death the court is currently split 4-4 between so-called conservative and liberal justices.
President Obama says he will send the name of a nominee to fill the vacant seat to the Senate in the next few weeks. Republicans in Congress say the seat should remain open until a new President is elected in November. That leaves an awfully long window for potential deadlock on the bench.
While we disagreed on many issues facing the court, I have a great deal of respect for Justice Scalia’s years of service and dedication to the practice of law. His passing leaves a void on the bench that will be hard to fill for a number of reasons. The thing I really liked about the man was that he really believed in the judicial system and also you never had to wonder where he stood on an issue.
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