[The President] shall nominate, and, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
So reads Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States.
The late Justice Scalia, as an originalist, would insist that the plain meaning of the original words in that document are and shall always be the meaning of those words. The word ‘President’ means and shall always mean ‘President.’ The plain meaning of that word cannot be construed to mean ‘President-elect’ any more than it can be construed to mean ‘former-President.’ It plainly meant and means the President in office at the time of a vacancy for which an appointment is called. Justice Scalia was very clear that the Constitution is not a living document to be changed by textual whim.
The current whining insistence by Senator McConnell and others, that the President in office ought not make an appointment to fill Scalia’s vacancy is plainly either a blatant statement of disrespect for originalist theory or a blatant disregard for law, the fundamental law of our nation.
The Senate Majority Leader apparently thinks disobedience of the law is a matter of political convenience. While I do think the Constitution is a living document (the document defines itself as such by anticipating amendments), it is not so animated a document that it can be given a leave of absence by legislators for their party’s convenience.
Do your job, Senator McConnel, or leave it undone, but do not think for a moment that by not fulfilling your elected Constitutional responsibility you are innocent of breaking the law!
Oh, but I forgot, politicians are exempt from obeying laws; shame on me.