The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is fueling the debate over whether President Obama should nominate a successor to the bench.
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Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served in George W. Bush’s Administration, explained why the president’s decision is so critical.
“Other than putting young men and women into harm’s way and going to war, the decision by the President of the United States who to put on the Supreme Court is probably the most important one that person has to make,” Gonzales told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
He added: “It represents potentially the president’s most lasting legacy because that person’s decisions on the bench following a lifetime appointment will far outlast the president’s term and the president’s policy.”
Scalia, known for being a very influential and conservative justice, was appointed to the bench by President Reagan in 1986.
Many Republicans do not believe President Obama should nominate a successor during an election year. And Gonzales warned that if the selection process becomes too political it could cause problems for the GOP-led Senate.
“Obviously the art of judging should not be political, but often the selection of a judge becomes very political,” he said. “I think that’s what we’re witnessing right now. There is a danger for the Senate as well, because if it appears that it has become so political and it frustrates the American people and further disgusts the American people, then the Republicans could lose control of the Senate.”