Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth released the following statement:
Fix the Court sends its condolences to the family and friends of Justice Antonin Scalia, an intellectual giant who shaped a generation of legal thinking.
Now all three branches of government have important roles to play in filling his seat. The President should nominate a qualified individual in due time, and the Senate should vet him or her as is its wont. But it’s also important to put Chief Justice John Roberts’ role into focus here.
Roberts should reiterate his grievances, lobbed just days ago, about how the nomination process is ‘not functioning well‘ and signal that a consensus pick is necessary to reduce the partisan temperature of the nominations and of the court itself – and to ensure a functioning third branch for the foreseeable future.
At a time when a near octogenarian’s death has, somehow, thrown the country into constitutional chaos, leaders of all three branches should demonstrate the statesman-like qualities that the public deserves.
In the coming days, Fix the Court will lay out a vision for the type of nominee the President and Senate should consider, in terms of his or her ability to make the court more open and accountable to the American people.
Finally, Chief Justice John Roberts is not only one of nine votes. He is also the custodian of an institution that has become the most powerful, least accountable in our nation and is in desperate need of a moment through which it can regain the trust of the American people. This is that moment for the court – and for Roberts himself.