I have a few thoughts to share in the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Some are about the man himself, some are political, and the remainder are about friendship in general.
I hope you find some value here.
I don't think you will see this exact perspective elsewhere.
First and foremost, I pray for peace for his family following his unexpected and sudden passing. Regardless of what any of us think of his specific opinions, the man had an objectively brilliant legal mind. He was also a father of 9 and the grandfather of 35. What an amazing life.
I find it beyond bothersome (the word "appalling" comes to mind) that both Republicans and Democrats have been publicly and vocally strategizing about Scalia's replacement before the man has even been properly memorialized. In fact, this started within hours of the news, perhaps within minutes.
Some Republicans have promised to block any nominee from Obama, stating that this should wait until a new President is in place. This strikes me as asinine for two reasons:
1. It is the President's right and responsibility to nominate when there is a vacancy in the Supreme Court.
2. They don't even know who he will pick yet.
You can skip this next entire paragraph if you are intimately familiar with the nomination and confirmation process:
The approval process includes vetting by the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by a vote in the Senate to confirm the nominee (or not). Currently, the Judiciary Committee is led by Republicans. The GOP has 11 members, and Democrats have 9. After they vet the nominee, it then goes to the Senate where he/she is voted upon. A simply majority is sufficient to confirm.
With that in mind, it is asinine to publicly promise to block any nominee, particularly with the knowledge that you have the probable power to do this later without saying anything to the media.
Conversely, I saw Democrats urging Obama to make a recess appointment quickly (they are presently in the midst of a 10-day break), without realizing that any interim appointment could only serve until January of 2017 because of the way the rules are set up.
At any rate, I was actually more interested in the fact that Scalia was apparently VERY good friends with Ruth Bader Ginsberg, with whom he disagreed more often than anyone else. They agreed on cases 57% of the time. When the Court was split 5-4, they agreed on only 7% on those.
Despite that, they socialized together frequently, even vacationing sometimes together. Yes, really. These two individuals could not be much more diametrically opposed with interpretation of the law, Constitution, and politics in general, yet they were REALLY GOOD FRIENDS.
I see friendships destroyed frequently over political differences. Heck, I've seen fist fights over sporting events.
I do strive to be respectful when I disagree with my friends, because I value them more than I value being right.
I don't always succeed, and sometimes I get emotional, too. If I have ever offended you in any way, I apologize. I am going to try to follow the example of Scalia and Ginsberg, the "odd couple" from the Supreme Court. If they could hang out and take vacations together, surely I can learn from this and be more patient and kind toward others with whom I do not agree.
Have a terrific day. May God bless you.
P.S. As a side note: If they make a movie anytime soon about Antonin Scalia, Paul Sorvino is the only logical choice for that role.