With the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the political world has been in a frenzy.
Scalia was a conservative justice, and without him, the bench is evenly divided between four mostly liberal judges and four mostly conservative judges. The appointment of the next justice will have reverberations felt for a long time to come.
Naturally, this has caused violent arguments in Washington and beyond about what to do. Republicans in the Senate–who must provide consent on the presidential appointment, as laid out in the Constitution–have said they won’t even vote on any Obama nominee since it’s an election year.
Obama, for his part, has said “Come on, guys,” and “I’m sorry I did the same thing when I was in the Senate.”
Let’s see if we can work through some extreme scenarios to find the perfect compromise.
Scenario #1: The Obama Nation
This is the worst-case scenario for Republicans. Here, Obama declares himself on the Supreme Court thanks to his Constitutional law background, using an executive order to bypass the Senate vote. When they undoubtedly get outraged, he channels his inner Andrew Jackson and says, “The Senate has made their decision, now let them enforce it. FYI, I’m still the commander in chief of the armed forces for the most powerful military in the world.” Then he winks.
This would, of course, be contested. But now that Obama’s on the Supreme Court, guess how the verdict would come in?
Then President Justice Obama would finally, after eight long years, take away everyone’s guns, mandate abortions, rename the country Kenya 2: Electric Bugaloo, and do all those other things he’s been accused of wanting to do.
He would finally create the dystopian socialist paradise he has always been accused of wanting.
Scenario #2: Trump Town Funk You Up
This is an extreme compromise. In order to remove Donald Trump from possibly becoming president, Obama and Republican leaders strike a deal to add Trump to the Supreme Court.
This really is the perfect compromise appointment. Both sides are happy that he’s no longer in the running for president. Neither side is happy that he’s on the Supreme Court. Neither party likes him, or can really predict his policy decisions, so he becomes a true wild card on the bench.
And he probably gives it up after a couple of years, so it punts the decision to the next president.
Scenario #3: The Country Finally Goes to the Dogs
Okay, we have finally arrived at the perfect compromise. Somewhere between Obama declaring himself supreme ruler and Trump being the ultimate self-serving wild card, we have this:
Show me where in the Constitution it says a dog can’t be a Supreme Court justice.
This might be the only appointment that unites the country. Dogs are great; everyone realizes this. No one could accuse anyone of it being a political appointment, because dogs don’t have politics, just regular ticks.
And talk about a wild card! No one knows which side he’d pick in any case. The one with the offers of treats, or the one with the offers of belly rubs?
So, yes, it would probably add much more to the corruption of the highest levels of American governance.
But it’d be so cute!