White House

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval Would Not Be A Moderate Choice For The Supreme Court

So as America is on the verge of a minor Constitutional crisis, one where recalcitrant Republicans refuse to follow Article  II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, President Obama appears desperate to  appease the anti-American Republican obstructionists. The so-called “Appointments Clause” in Article II is fairly straight-forward and certainly not ambiguous is stating that “He (the president) shall nominate…Judges of the supreme Court.” It is then the constitutional duty of the Senate to either confirm or deny the President’s nominee; something Republicans refuse to do.

Senate Republicans claim the Constitution is wrong and that any currently-serving President is prohibited from adhering to Article II and the Appointments Clause. In a unilateral decision likely handed down by the religious right and the Koch brothers, Senate Republicans, among many conservatives, claim the responsibility to nominate a replacement Justice is reserved for the president elected in the next general election following a Justice’s retirement or demise; providing it is a Republican president.

Now, none of the Republican claims are true and in fact are contrary to the plain language in Article II, but that point has been made ad nauseam. Still, Senate Republicans decided there will be no hearings on any Obama nominee because they continue refusing to acknowledge that the American people used their voices twice to elect Barack Obama to be President; and choose replacement Justices for the Supreme Court. Since the President believes in honoring his oath of office to uphold the Constitution, he is rightly going ahead and auditioning prospective nominees to replace Antonin Scalia. Curiously, the first name surfacing as the President’s possible choice to replace Antonin Scalia is another Antonin Scalia.

One pundit posed the possibility that President Obama is simply “trolling Senate Republicans” by floating Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval as Scalia’s replacement; one certainly hopes that is the case. Supposedly there is some preliminary vetting underway to dig into Sandoval, a staunch conservative Republican, but there is already a world of information that informs putting Brian Sandoval on the nation’s High Court is simply replacing the deceased Antonin Scalia with an Antonin Scalia with an Hispanic name. A Sandoval choice will give the religious right, anti-women’s rights groups,  the Vatican, the Koch Brothers, the fossil fuel industry and Utah Mormons exactly what they crave; a hard-right leaning conservative Supreme Court for the next generation. Don’t believe it?

Some folks are labeling Sandoval a moderate Republican, but those folks are completely wrong; even in today’s political environment they are completely wrong. It is interesting, too, that the President is floating a name of a Republican governor who was a very vocal supporter of armed sedition against the United States government. Sandoval also opposes solar energy, sane gun safety laws, thinks the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is unconstitutional and he will maintain the Vatican-5’s anti-women bloc for decades.

The first clue that Sandoval does not belong on the Supreme Court, much less in the Nevada governor’s mansion was his ardent support of Cliven Bundy’s armed sedition against the federal government. Sandoval not only lashed out at the federal government officials executing two federal court orders, he assailed the Bureau of Land Management for managing federal land that Sandoval claims belongs to the Kochs by way of the Nevada’s legislature. He did, after all, not only meet secretly with the seditious Bundys to commiserate over the “abomination” of the government owning any land, he also supported and signed legislation illegally transferring 7-million acres of federally-owned land to Republicans to sell off to the Koch brothers’ mining, logging, and fossil fuel industry. The Koch brothers and Utah Mormons are of the devout belief that the federal government has no right to own land that belongs to the Koch brothers for profit and the LDS church by manifest destiny. Maybe President Obama is unaware that his possible Scalia replacement is also a not-so-stealthy Koch acolyte like Scalia.

Sandoval is also notorious for claiming the Affordable Care Act is patently unconstitutional because it is what the Koch brothers believe. It is curious why the President would even consider a conservative with a pre-conceived notion that a legally-passed law certain to come before the Supreme Court again is unconstitutional; But likely because it is what the Kochs want, they are cheering the President’s possible choice to give them what they want. Speaking of giving the Kochs what they want, Sandoval has revealed his devotion to big energy companies and opposition to renewable energy sources; particularly solar energy. Does the President comprehend that another Koch-devoted Scalia on the High Court will doom whatever he may have accomplished to combat global climate change? One seriously wonders if the President just picked a name out of a hat and hoped it was a name not submitted by the Koch brothers.

Maybe the President is just trolling Senate Republicans, because Brian Sandoval is not only no kind of moderate anything, he is another Antonin Scalia all the way down to being a Roman Catholic like Scalia who opposes same-sex marriage and funding for women’s reproductive health. Sandoval also supports; using public money for private religious schools, immediate construction of the Keystone pipeline, he opposes all gun controls and believes the 10th Amendment supersedes federal law; it is why he supports the selling off all federal lands to the Koch brothers mining, logging, and oil enterprises.

Perhaps the Obama Administration will discover some socially-redeeming benefit to even considering another Scalia on the High Court, although it is beyond comprehension there is anything remotely beneficial. For any American sickened over the devastation the Vatican, Koch, and corporate-5 have already wrought on America, the idea of another couple of decades of Koch-religious acolytes destroying the Constitution and democracy is a nightmare. It is stunning that Barack Obama would deliberately destroy his legacy by replacing one Scalia with another Scalia with an Hispanic name as if Americans won’t notice their as their democracy is being completely dismantled.


Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion. Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn't look good. Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.

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