Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing has sent Washington D.C. into complete disarray. Issues plaguing the republican party have worsened, strife between democrats and republicans has intensified, and the distrust apparent between republicans and the president has heightened.
This week republican Senator Susan Collins broke the congressional stalemate by sitting down with Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. After their meeting, Senator Collins told reporters that Garland deserves a hearing. Collins explained that immediately following the news of Scalia’s passing, Collins revisited the Constitution, looking for a definitive answer whether a nomination should take place now or in 2017.
After carefully examining the document that dictates the supreme laws adhered by the United States, Collins came to the conclusion that President Obama has the authority to appoint a new Supreme Court justice. That responsibility is given to the president by article two of the Constitution.
Collins told listeners that it is unfair for Congress to refuse to hold hearings for Garland. It is impossible to make judgement on someone that they know nothing about. Several weeks ago when the Senate went out of session, Susan Collins was only one of two senators willing to meet with Merrick Garland. During her most recent interview, Senator Collins announced now fourteen senators are willing to sit with Judge Garland.
Another large news story this week regarding ramifications of Antonin Scalia’s passing, is George Mason University’s struggle over what to name their law school. Donors suggested that GMU honor the late Supreme Court justice in the school’s name.
First, many voiced their opposition to remembering Antonin Scalia through George Mason’s law school due to his contentious persona. Scalia was known for speaking his mind without worrying about political correctness. Scalia had controversial opinions on gay rights, health care, affirmative action, immigration, and gender equality.
After the news broke that there was a possibility George Mason would name its law school after Scalia, people began to realize it would spell out a rather comedic acronym. The initials A.S. and abbreviation for school of law resulted in some chuckles on the internet. So far, eleven Virginia lawmakers have ruled against naming the law school after Antonin Scalia. In the 24 hours since the announcement, 1,000 signatures have already been collected to not immortalize Scalia.
Alumni and current students have voiced their concerns over if the controversial naming would negatively affect future job opportunities for them. Students are strongly opposed to being linked to the late conservative Supreme Court justice. Many worry that $30 million donated from the Koch Brothers would influence the school to adopt a more conservative approach to their curriculum, mirroring Scalia’s political approach. Students hope that their school would be stronger than to be swayed by greed.