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Q: Should a Supreme Court Justice be Appointed During an Election Season?

yes

“During an election season, under the constitutional right of the president and senate, a supreme court justice should be allowed to be appointed. Article II Section 2 of the United States Constitution states, “he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, … judges of the supreme court.” The constitution states clearly and concisely that the president and senate can appoint new justices if there is a vacant spot on the court. The opposing side argues that it is unfair because their voices are going unheard and the senate blocked Barack Obama in 2016 from appointing his nominee, Merrick Garland. To that, I argue a president is elected for four years, not three and ¾’s of a year but four years. America voted for the current president as their voice for the next four years. The president is allowed to nominate a supreme court justice until his term is over. As for the 2016 senate’s decision to block former President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, the senate handled his nomination the correct and legal way. The current senators at the time Obama was in office blocked his nomination, and we chose them to represent our voices. We also chose the current senators in office to represent us, and we chose them because we know they will thoroughly review this nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and make a fair decision. If you are currently unhappy with the people in power in the United States, I urge you not to protest the president and senate’s constitutional rights but go out and vote this election for change so that we, the people, are heard the way we want to be in our country.”

Nicholas from California

no

“As the election nears, tension between parties and candidates have risen to a great extent in which they usually aren’t at. To add along to the civil/uncivil disagreements, voting by mail concerns, and the general worry of COVID-19 cases, the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg occurred, leaving the United States in shambles. Now with a vacant seat to fill, a new Supreme Court Justice must be selected. I believe that the 45th POTUS, Donald Trump, should not be granted access in appointing a new Supreme Court Justice during election season. Plethora of reasons stand as to why this shouldn’t be allowed. Whoever is to fill the vacant seat in the Supreme Court will be there for the rest of their life. There is no going back within the decision. “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour…” (The United States Constitution, Article III, Section 1) So, I believe that the candidate who wins the election shall be given the right to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice. The election is a mere 23 days away. There is no security of which candidate will win, and it wouldn’t be correct to occupy the seat if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, presumably due to the reason he would choose a different nominee. During President Barack Obama’s 2nd term in 2016, when Supreme Court justice Antonio Scalia unfortunately passed, Obama decided to nominate Merrick Garland to the court, but was rejected. His passing occurred in February, nine months before the 2016 election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made sure that any appointment by the sitting president to be null and void. He said the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the next president. As Obama was unable to run for another term, it wouldn’t even give him the opportunity of nominating him again, unlike the possibility of how President Trump can run for a 2nd term. But, why would Trump have the privilege of choosing the next Supreme Court Justice just 23 days before the election when Obama wasn’t given permission to choose one 9 months before the 2016 election? To keep thoughts and ideas consistent, the next or continuing president should decide. Though some may argue that Trump’s presidency still reigns and that since he is still POTUS he still has the power to, if he wishes to resemble the presidential quality of integrity, he should allow the winner of the 2020 elections to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice. As one of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final wishes was not to be replaced until a new president is installed, Trump and the Senate should honor her legacy and what she has done for the United States by fulfilling this honor. Overall, this decision will impact America no matter who is appointed. The new Supreme Court Justice will influence future decisions made in the United States.”

Sofia from New York

Think the Vote helps you to understand controversial topics and current events. Thinking through your vote is more than showing up on Election Day and picking the person that you like the best—it’s showing an interest in the world and the issues that surround you every day.

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“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”

– President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961