The Catholic University of America

Victor Williams, clinical assistant professor, law, was interviewed for a story in Mother Jones about Justice Scalia's replacement, and published blogs on the topic at ACSblog and Huffington Post. Chad Pecknold, associate professor, theology, was interviewed about Justice Scalia's funeral. Robert Destro, professor, law, was interviewed by GVH on the justice. See below.

The Loss of Scalia and What's at Stake for the Supreme Court

From: GVH
Date: Feb. 22, 2016
Author: Siraj Hashmi

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“Justice Scalia was one of the greatest legal minds on the Court that we’ve seen in, I’d say, a century,” said Robert A. Destro, a constitutional law professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in an interview with GVH Live.

 

Destro argues that Scalia’s death is a huge blow not just to the conservative movement, but to the balance of the court.

“If you had had a more progressive judge like Justice Ginsburg retire, which many people wanted her to do when President Obama was re-elected, that wouldn’t have changed the Court any,” explained Destro. “With Scalia, that changes the entire dynamic of the Supreme Court and moves it, especially with the vacant seat, to the center.”

 

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Antonin Scalia's funeral reflects the justice's life of faith

From: Washington Post
Date: Feb. 20, 2016
Author: Robert Barnes

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Chad C. Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America, adjacent to the basilica, said Scalia was something of an ambassador for the Catholic Church.

He promoted the Red Mass, the annual celebration for judges and lawyers that some justices attend on the Sunday before their terms begin in October. And Scalia created a social-media storm when he attended Obama’s second inauguration wearing a hat modeled after one worn by Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians and statesmen.

“This is a very important moment for Catholics in Washington,” Pecknold said.

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Recess Appoint a Supreme Court Justice: Obama Needs to Find His Inner-Trump to Replace Scalia on SCOTUS

From: Huffington Post
Date: Feb. 19, 2016
Author: Victor Williams

 

Our 100 U.S. Senators are now on a full, 10-day paid vacation. Such upper chamber indolence is no longer surprising to the American people. Little wonder that our Congress regularly earns public approval ratings in the single-digits.

 

But here is the shocker. The 10-day Senate recess will not be broken up by pro forma sessions used in years past to prevent President Obama from exercising his constitutional recess appointment authority. When the GOP-controlled Senate went on vacation, they were careless and left a recess-appointment window wide-open. And it can not be closed until Monday afternoon, February 22, 2016.

Ten days is exactly the minimum recess duration needed to trigger the president's recess appointment authority. Republicans acknowledge that Obama now has this alternative appointment power.

Meanwhile, just two days into the 10-day Senate recess, Justice Antonin Scalia passed from this suffering temporal plane leaving his SCOTUS seat vacant.

 

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Supreme Court Recess Appointment for Scalia Replacement?

From: ACSBlog
Date: Feb. 18, 2016
Author: Victor Williams

At noon last Friday, the Senate began a 10-day recess without any of the usual pro-forma sessions scheduled. No Senators were left home alone to gavel the Senate open and closed in sham sessions during the 10-day vacation. According to the formal House-Senate joint adjournment resolution, the Senate will not return until 3:00 p.m. on Monday, February 22. An uninterrupted 10-day break is exactly the minimum recess period established by the Supreme Court's NLRB v. Noel Canning ruling during which the president may exercise his recess appointment power. Whether intended or not, the GOP-controlled Senate has left Barack Obama a wide open appointment window. But it will be shut on Monday afternoon.

When conservative commenters learned of the open window, they were not pleased. But even Senate GOP leadership aides acknowledge the unusual recess opportunity would allow Obama to make an immediate Supreme Court appointment: "He could appoint [Vice President Joe] Biden tonight if he wanted to.”

Will President Obama immediately fill the vacant seat on the nation's highest judicial bench? If so, he would retain authority and obligation to also nominate someone (the recess appointee or another person) for a life-tenured appointment. Earl Warren, William Brennan and Potter Stewart each served as recess appointees on the Supreme Court while they waited for Senate confirmation to tenured positions. And will Obama use the 10-day recess to fill the many other empty executive, regulatory and judicial positions? He has a unique opportunity to ensure a fully staffed government for his final year in office.

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Yes, Obama Could Appoint a Scalia Replacement Today

From: Mother Jones
Date: Feb. 16, 2016
Author: Pema Levy

... So it is quite a twist of fate that Scalia died during one of those rare times when the Senate is in a true, 10-day recess, without holding any pro-forma sessions. The Senate reached an adjournment agreement that stated that no pro-forma sessions would be held if the House agreed to the adjournment resolution, which the House did on February 12.

"They are not holding pro-forma sessions," says Victor Williams, a professor at the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University. "They are in a formal adjournment…My read is that they are out for 10 days."

According to Williams, the appointment would last until the end of the next session of the Senate, most likely in December 2017. At that point, the seat would again become vacant, until a new justice is confirmed. ...

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