If Barack Obama would take my advice, he would nominate Attorney General Loretta Lynch to replace Antonin Scalia as Supreme Court Justice for purely crass political motives. I’m sure that everyone is familiar with the differing opinions of Democrats and more conservative Republicans about a possible Obama nomination. The Democrats argue that it is the president’s duty to submit a nominee, which appears to be true, and that it is the duty of the Senate to consider the president’s nominee, which also appears to be true, although not necessarily to approve the nominee. However, leading Senate Republicans including Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican majority, insist that Senate Republicans will refuse to allow the Senate to even consider Obama’s nominee, no matter whom he picks.
What if Barack Obama were to nominate a highly qualified black woman for the post? Would Mitch McConnell block hearings on her nomination and thus come across to many as racist and anti-woman? I suspect he would, defying logic in the process. Ms. Lynch seems highly qualified, and she was already vetted by the Senate when Barack Obama nominated her as his Attorney General. From what I can determine, her credentials appear impeccable. There could be no logical reason to not give her a fair hearing.
If the Republicans were to refuse to even consider Ms. Lynch’s nomination, many would see it as an insult to women in general, to African-Americans in general, specifically to black women.
Is Ms. Lynch the best-qualified person for the post? I don’t know. But, from a political point of view, and most things done in Congress these days seem to be done for politic gain, she seems to be the perfect nominee. If the Senate approved her nomination, the Democratic-leaning side of the would have a five-to-four majority on the Court. If the Senate refused to even consider a black, southern, female nominee, it would endanger the Republicans’ chances of electing the next president, and it could even result in a shift of control in the Senate. It could give Democratic candidates the edge in Senate and perhaps even in House races and could put Democrats back in control. Then, the nominee of the next president, probably a Democrat, would sail through the nomination process.
Yes, if he would consult me, I would advise President Obama to nominate Loretta Lynch. Politically, it would be a win-win situation for the Democrats, and given Ms. Lynch’s biography, she seems to be highly qualified. However, I’m not sitting next the phone waiting for the president’s call.
By the way, don’t forget to check out my Kindle ebook about my 400-mile plus hike along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain last summer. For more information, click on the book’s cover image near the top of the left sidebar, and a new browser window will open showing information about the book.