The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia leaves a Supreme Court vacancy that President Obama will seek to fill. My guess is that Obama will nominate a moderate liberal on the assumption that an ultraliberal will not have a chance to be confirmed.
However, I believe that the Republican-controlled United States Senate will not confirm even a moderate liberal until after the November election. If the Democrats win the Presidential election, then the Republican Senate may confirm Obama's nominee before the newly elected Democratic President can potentially nominate someone even more liberal.
If the Republicans win the Presidential election and retain control of the Senate, Scalia's seat may remain vacant until the new President takes office and nominates a new candidate.
Polarization of the Supreme Court
Personally, I think it is sad that the Supreme Court is so polarized. We have what I would call four ultraliberal Supreme Court Justices, two ultraconservative ones (three before Scalia's death), perhaps one moderate liberal, and one moderate conservative. Chief Justice Roberts (the moderate conservative) probably best reflects my own beliefs.
It might be great if the Supreme Court had nine persons who possessed no bias. But that is not likely to happen any time soon. And if Obama or his successor nominates another ultraliberal (or ultraconservative) to replace Scalia, the Supreme Court will remain polarized even longer.
Also, if Obama nominates an ultraliberal and that individual is confirmed, the small liberal majority on the Supreme Court would take much more control thanks to the added member. This polarization with a stronger liberal majority could make the Court even worse than it is with its current polarization, at least in my view.
If one or two other Supreme Court Justices pass on from this life in the next few years, President Obama and/or his successor may be able to greatly influence the Supreme Court for many years to come—for better or worse.
This current vacancy illustrates how important the Presidential and Congressional races are. I pray for the best qualified candidates to win in all the races and for the best qualified candidate to be nominated to and appointed as a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia.
NOTE: This article is virtually identical to one the author posted on another website earlier today (February 13, 2016).