* US Sen. Mark Kirk has been whacked by Democrats for not saying whether he supports his party leadership’s rejection of the notion that the President ought to be able to appoint Justice Scalia’s successor. Kirk has an op-ed in the Sun-Times on this topic…
As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a United States senator, I swore an oath to protect and uphold the constitution. That oath is to our constitution, not to a party or any one individual, but to the ideals that bind our nation.
In that role, I recognize the right of the president, be it Republican or Democrat, to place before the Senate a nominee for the Supreme Court and I fully expect and look forward to President Barack Obama advancing a nominee for the Senate to consider.
I also recognize my duty as a senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information. The Senate’s role in providing advice and consent is as important and significant as the president’s role in proposing a nominee.
A partisan or extreme nominee would not be prudent nor would it provide a steady, scholarly hand to guide the constitutional ship of state.
My sincerest hope is that President Obama nominates someone who captures the sentiment he spoke about before the Illinois General Assembly this month — a nominee who can bridge differences, a nominee who finds common ground and a nominee who does not speak or act in the extreme.
Such a selection by the president would demonstrate a break from the rancor and partisanship of Washington and a real commitment to a new beginning even as his own term nears its end.
*** UPDATE *** Duckworth campaign…
“I’m pleased Sen. Kirk has chosen under pressure to do the right thing and support the President’s constitutional duty to nominate a Supreme Court nominee. He should go a step further, however, and demand Senators McConnell and Grassley end their obstruction and hold hearings and allow a vote on a nominee.” — Tammy Duckworth
* Kirk: Tammy Duckworth is a fool