Selecting a new Supreme Court Justice heats up the race for the white house

Selecting a new Supreme Court Justice heats up the race for the white house

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The effort to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is heating up the presidential election.

Political experts said with the senate on break and the race for the white house very much underway, there could be complications when choosing a new Supreme Court justice and when.

President Ronald Regan appointed Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia in 1986. Ever since, political experts say he was a true conservative in the court and now, with the Supreme Court having an even number of justices, eight instead of nine, it causes the possibility of a tie.   

"Whoever replaces him has the potential to rearrange the balance of the court and who that fifth vote would be to determine a case," Frederick Wood said.

Associate Professor of Politics as Coastal Carolina University, Frederick Wood, explains when you take away that conservative vote, it could turn the Supreme Court into a very moderate court.

Wood believes both parties in the presidential race, will use this situation to increase voter turnout in the coming primaries, and in the fall.

Already, senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other presidential candidates have come out and said the nomination for Scalia's replacement should be put on hold until the next president is elected.

However, President Obama plans to move forward with the nomination.

"It also doesn't help that we have three sitting senators running for president right now, and they would be the ones to vote for any nomination that president Obama put forward," Wood explains.

The task at hand, replacing Scalia, was a main talking point at the last republican debate.

Despite the fact some have said the republican ruled senate will not approve president Obama's nomination. Wood believes, it's really not out of the question.

"And the republicans may be willing to accept the person that they know, with the president that they know, rather than wait, potential lose control of the senate next year or have a president Clinton or Sanders that then would appoint somebody to the court.

Now even if President Obama moves to nominate a new Supreme Court justice in the coming weeks. It's up to the senate to schedule those hearings and make that decision.

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