The Constitution and The Filling of a Vacancy

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

Two points worth considering about the filling of the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court as a result of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: One, what does the Constitution say about nominating and confirming a Supreme Court Justice; And two, whether a nominee’s religious affiliation should disqualify them from consideration.

Firstly, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, in pertinent part, as follows: “A President nominates and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges of the Supreme Court.” A simple majority of the Senate is required to confirm or reject a nominee. The sound and fury we are hearing concerning the nomination and appointment of a justice during an election year is based upon the prerogative of a given president and the traditions of the U.S. Senate, but they are not constitutional requirements. A president may appoint, and the U.S. Senate may confirm or reject a nominee, any time there is a vacancy. The Senate’s constitutional duty has no exception for election years.

The rest of this is simply posturing and gamesmanship. Which means it’s politics. Both parties have been on both sides of this issue depending upon who was in power and who held the majority. I have no doubt that if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats held the White House and Senate they would also immediately push through their own nominee.

Justice Ginsburg was aware of the fragile nature of her health and could have decided to retire. In fact, she was asked to do so during the Obama years, providing President Obama the opportunity to appoint a younger, like-minded justice. She did not, perhaps thinking Hillary Clinton would win and the first female president would then appoint her replacement. Hillary lost. Faced with that, she simply held on attempting to outlast, she hoped, a one-term President Trump. She miscalculated.

Further, regarding an election year replacement of a justice, Justice Ginsburg, herself, said, in a 2016 interview regarding the nomination of Merrick Garland to the High Court: “Nothing in the Constitution prevents a president from nominating to fill a court seat. That’s their job. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

Secondly, Article 6 of the Constitution makes clear that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” This includes as a “disqualification” to any office! This means we do not impose religious litmus tests upon individuals in order for them to be eligible to serve in public office.

That’s why it’s so highly offensive for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be attacked, in an attempt to disqualify her, because she is a Catholic. That’s also why it was highly inappropriate and bigoted for U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein to say to Judge Barrett “the dogma lives loudly within you” during her confirmation hearing to the federal appeals court in 2017. This comment by Feinstein was made to imply that Judge Barrett could not be both a faithful Catholic Christian and also a fair and impartial judge. This is wrong, unconstitutional and remains an historic smear of a nominee.

Judge Barrett is a highly qualified, accomplished jurist (a Louisianan!) who is also the mother of 7, one, a special needs child, and two of whom were adopted from Haiti. The great farce here is that the Left, which reflexively demands that we “celebrate women,” refuses to do so regarding Judge Barrett.

Why? Because Judge Barrett would faithfully apply the Constitution and law as written—rather than usurping the role of the elected branches and imposing her own policy choices. She won’t serve as an activist, Leftist judge and that means not only should she not be praised but that she must be destroyed in the same ugly, vicious manner the Left inflicted on Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The hypocrisy here drips like the morning dew.

The dictates of the Constitution in this matter are clear. Hopefully, they will be followed.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to

16 thoughts on “The Constitution and The Filling of a Vacancy

  1. Mr. Alexander,
    You said it correctly, it is spelled out directly. 100% agree with your opinion, especially that the Dems
    can and will nominate who they want when they have a Dem. President. RGB miscalculated, she
    should have retired under Obama, oh well.

  2. Barrett is liable to set the US back 50 years because of her beliefs. Women should be subservient to men, with men singly as head of the household and holding all positions in their church. (Her church doesn’t allow reporters into its worship center.) Women again would not be in control of their own bodies. Gays would be back in the closet, not able to obtain equal rights either as our Constitution provides them. She talks as if she’d love to get rid of the ACA, leaving millions with no healthcare in the middle of a pandemic. And Repubs still have no good plan as far as enacting healthcare. In 2018, this badministration allowed small businesses to offer Americans cheaper, less comprehensive policies called Assoc Health Plans that last up to a year. AHPs are short term and companies can charge higher premiums or deny coverage based on medical history and preexisting conditions. In 2019, a federal judge blocked AHPs. Even several Repubs in the last couple of years said Individual 1 should not be able to fill that SCOTUS seat. Lord knows how you folks blocked Barack…and what was said back then. Guess what Repubs say doesnt matter. A wise woman I heard (not Pelosi y’all) says Dont listen to what they say, watch what they do. Yep. You say one thing and do another. Shiny object.. I thought toddlers weren’t supposed to horn in at adult conversations about important adult matters. Individual 1 kept butting in. No plan. Just lies. Nothing to say. Wants to know who are the Proud Boys. Ha, then he tells them to stand back and stand by. Message to his racist bullies? Of course. Violent crime went down during the Obama/Biden administration by 16%. It is up by .04% under Individual 1. FBI director Wray said just this month that white supremacy is the biggest chunk of racially motivated violent extremism. Betsy Devos is voting Biden. Pence aide is voting Biden. WH officials pressured the CDC to downplay risks of kids returning to school. Individual 1 secretly mocks Christian supporters. He talks about a forest that needs to be raked to stop wildfires from happening. Guess he needs to get a rake. In May he cut over 1000 jobs including wildland firefighting jobs in the largest federal jobs cut in a decade. Feds own majority of forest land in CA. He wrote off $26M as consulting fees including to Ivanka while she worked for the Trump Organization. He paid $750 in taxes in the year he took over the White House and the year after. He paid no federal income tax in the last 10 of the previous 15 years. He has declared 1.4B in losses in 2008, 2009. Revenue from abroad (so much for the emoluments clause) was $73M in the first 2 yrs in WH, some from dictators. He is personally responsible for loans and other debts of $421M, most coming due within the next 4 years. He doesnt have the money to pay it. Covid cases are rising in the US and could get up to 3000 deaths/mo, up from 700/mo. Why did it take 3 yrs to get FEMA $$$ to Puerto Rico? Only because he might glean a couple of Latino votes. There were only 372 cases of voter fraud out of 14.6M votes cast. Not sure why hes so up in arms about mail in voting. Hes done it for years, and even tried to vote in NY where he no longer resides. McEnany has done so for the last decade. And there were 31 credible cases of impersonation fraud from 2000-2014 out of more than 1B ballots cast. US debt is set to exceed the size of the economy next year for the first time since WWII. Biden’s Made in America tax plan will penalize a company that moves jobs overseas. It provides a tax credit to companies that keep manufacturing jobs in the US. It eliminates offshore tax loopholes. Biden will not raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year. Have a field day with all the facts folks. You need to have this big infusion. Stay well.

    • Well, Vicki, you are back, OH MY! Will you ever learn that you will not convince the intelligent people who read the Journal that your thoughts on politics are right, or even close to being right? We have tried to give you truths, but just like old Joe the sniffer, you make up your own supposed truths, because you can’t even remember which direction you are headed on a day when you only have one place to go. Do you have to ask your spouse like the old sniffer did when they were only going to Florida? “Where are we headed today?” But I’m going to answer you, just because I love telling you about some of the ways you are wrong. You criticize the Catholic religion? A woman who is active in her church. The group that you liberals have made such a big deal of is made up of people who believe in living their Christianity, of doing what the Bible tells us to do. They follow God’s call to pray for and minister to others. A woman who prays for others, what can possibly be wrong with that? You are wrong when you say that reporters are not allowed in their worship center. Reporters are not allowed in the meetings of People of Praise. That is a place that reporters should not be. That is not what the group is there for, talking to reporters and answering questions. You know how reporters twist things, oh right, you are one who believes what they put out as news, even when reporters know they are not telling the truth. I ask you, what about the sniffer’s religion, he is Catholic you know? Or John F Kennedy, I’m sure you remember that he was a Catholic, or maybe you don’t? I guess a Catholic man is different than a woman, in your eyes. Do you know that the Constitution does not allow religion to play any part in the selection of a Supreme Court Justice? The way you came out spewing your venom, I think that is a truth you missed. She has said that she will follow the law, and she loves the Constitution and will not want to change it, but I’ll tell you something else I think you missed. Many of the liberals think they are smarter than our founding fathers, and they want it all changed, Chuck Schumer is the leader of the pack. As for the President, even RBG, not to be confused with the notorious B.I.G, said that a president is president for his full term of 4 years, not 3 years 6 months. A sitting president is fully within his rights as president in nominating a supreme court justice, and can do so up until a new president is sworn in. Of course, we believe that President Trump will serve our country another term, another 4 years.

      You talk of President Trump butting in. I’m so sorry that he had to do this, but he was defending himself and his record against the lying sniffer and a moderator who seemed to be more on the side of sniffer than the President. The moderator is supposed to be impartial. Why did he come out and lead with a question about taxes, attempting to make the President look bad, like a man who didn’t pay his fair share of taxes? If he has done that to sniffer, the libs would have raised a stink and probably would have rioted in the streets again. Chris should have read the complete article that was headlined to mislead. Actually the President paid millions, and $750 was just an underpayment. No big deal right. So in order not to look the part of court jester, you need to forget that little tidbit of misinformation. You are wrong again, sunshine!

      As for the crime rate being higher now. You know during the previous administration, the liberals were in power and the conservative citizens and level headed people of our great nation sat back and watched them sail through their 8 years. We didn’t riot in the streets because we didn’t get our way. Wrongs were committed, but we did what we are supposed to do, we let law enforcement and the courts handle the wrongs. Am I for dirty law enforcement, no I’m not, and I believe they should be punished. But they have a job to do, and defunding a department because of 1 man is one of the most asinine things I’ve ever heard of. Any elected official who allows it should be removed from office because they obviously don”t know a thing about what they should be doing. But they are all libs, so what do we expect. I guess they think a lot like you do, so bad stuff is going to happen. I think of the liberal actress who wants the police departments in CA defunded. So what happens next? She calls 911, and wants the police sent to her home because she thinks someone is following her. I wish the operator could have told her, “I’m sorry, but due to your interference in government, we no longer have a police department. Would you like to speak to the mayor or the governor instead?”

      As for COVID, I’m sick of the whole mess. I do remember sniffer telling the president that he was wrong in stopping flights from China so early. The old sniffer was wrong, and no matter what the president does, they say he is wrong. It is disgusting to have to listen to you people gripe, complain, and blame all day long. No one knew anything about this China virus. The president was getting different information from different agencies. No one knows what to believe, and whatever we do now still may be wrong. I found it interesting when the liberal in CA said the schools would open after the elections. Now to me, it throws COVID right into the political arena. Your favorite people are twisting things at every point, and no matter what the president does, it is wrong. And as for voting by mail, there is a right way and that is the way it should be done. You refuse to admit that what the president is saying about that is that he is against mass mail-outs to all addresses in a state. He has voted by mail for years the legal way. You call the Registrar of Voters and request that a ballot be sent to you, and they will do it. I have done it that way for years, and that is legal and does not allow for the voter fraud that is sure to happen with mass mailings.

      So I would say, PLEASE STOP, but I know you won’t. You will keep up your rants, but they do keep us laughing and gives us plenty to talk about during the slow times at work. Biden has a mental problem and I know it is medical and I feel bad for anyone that is losing their mind. It must be horrible as you realize what is happening. His wife should be ashamed, letting him be used like that. Kamala has called it the Harris administration already. Biden has called it the Harris/Biden ticket. That should give you a clue. A socialist will be the president of our great nation, and it will not be good. I fully believe that they will declare the old sniffer incompetent to govern the nation, and he will be ousted from the White House. He will not be president for long, as they would take him off all that medication, and people will see the senile side of Joe. We will have as president a woman those in CA say, truly did sleep her way to the way to the top. Well maybe sleep is the wrong word.

        • Lady Jade, there was a rant, I responded to that rant. She made accusations, I attempted to show her the truth, though I know for some the truth will never get through. There are rants, and there are rebuttals to rants. I hope you learn the difference.

      • We need the presence of God everywhere. Especially in His people so that true love and justice will prevail. We need Him in our schools, universities, courtrooms, and other public places. Reject Him, and failure is going to happen. I firmly believe you will see this rejection during the supreme court hearings. This country needs God or it will collapse. It is already collapsing with the deep division that exists and that has became increasingly evident with the riots, hate speech, false accusations i.e. trump killed over 200,000 people with the way he handled the coronavirus. I believe that is the stupidest statement ever made by supposedly educated people. Another lie is that BLM and it’s protests are peaceful. The king of deception is from the evil one Pray for our country: we are in great distress.

  3. Thank you for your article. The truths you point out are so offensive to those on the left. Kind of like water on the wicked witch in the movie. Please keep your articles coming because we need the truth.

  4. Thank you Mr. Alexander for setting the record straight. As a former student of Constitutional Law, that wonderful document clearly describes the process for filling a SC Justice vacancy and it is not currently being violated
    Furthermore, I am hopeful that the Democrats do follow through with their threat to attack Judge Barrett regarding her Christian Faith and religious affiliation. Doing so would be a sad commentary on our great nation.

  5. I guess I missed all of the anti-Catholic rants. I have many Catholic friends whom I admire. Always have had and always will. I won’t bother to comment on the constitutional stuff because it is clear in its meaning. AND it was four years ago. It got diluted by power-hungry Mitch McConnell, the greatest obstacle to democracy to exist in the last 100 years.

    • No, I’m sorry to have to tell you that Harry Reed was the greatest obstacle to democracy to exist since the beginning. You know he kept things on his desk and they say the desk was piled high with things that should have come before the Senate to go on to the President. Who the heck gave him the authority to do that. He is one of the main reasons I believe in term limits. Nancy is another, Chuck is another, and the guy who knows nothing about Robert’s Rules of Order, Jerry Nadler is another. There are a number of liberal lawmakers who have stayed way past their welcome. And you think McConnell is more power hungry than the ones I’ve mentioned. No Way!

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