After having trouble getting traction during President Obama’s tenure in some ways, Senate Republicans dug their heels in when Judge Samuel Alito passed away, blocking any practical conversation on a replacement until a new president could be sworn in.
According to one senator at the time, Mike Crapo of Idaho, “The current Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by an individual nominated by the next President of the United States.” Today, Mike Crapo can say that he delivered tangible results, helping Republicans find an alternative Justice that was well-respected by legal minds on both sides of the aisle.
Alito’s mysterious death:
For those that follow Washington policy making, last year’s death of Justice Alito could have easily appeared as something out of a mystery novel. An ailing judge books a dream trip to a Texas hunting lodge mostly alone. He checks into his room and is found later dead in his bed. He is then buried without any autopsy.
Naturally, there were some questions thrown at the process and the idea that there was no due process that was put into place to ensure that he was actually just perishing because of his heart condition. The judge that was asked to do the decision-making determined that Alito died of natural causes and left it at that.
Some of the disquiet on the Republican side immediately following the announcement that there would be no autopsy has to do with the state of weapons in today’s society. The Navy, the Army, gangs, real estate crews that ‘move’ targets pointed out by business rivals, and ‘we’ll help you lose your job’ crews have all trained with radar and sonic in order to be able to hit people with heart shots from up to a mile away. It isn’t hard for them to figure out how to push someone who has a bad heart condition anyway over the edge. In fact, there is some conjecture that John Roberts, the chief justice, was hit by a sonic attack many years ago in New England.
Part of the problem, perhaps is that according to the Pentagon, when you hit someone’s vagus nerve with a sonic or wave weapon so that it palpitates a bad heart, if it ends up causing a fatal heart attack there is no way that modern medicine can currently determine that it actually happened. You manipulated a nerve with a frequency. It doesn’t retain a record of that manipulation.
So, regardless of how people die when they are in positions of power, you will likely see the death attributed to natural causes until they can figure out how to measure whether or not it is different.
Led to a stalemate:
After Alito’s death, President Obama nominated his own candidate, someone who was conservative, yet not completely palatable to Republicans because the majority of them seemed to be saying that President Obama needed to recuse himself from nomination. The net result was a stalemate that caused the nomination to be tabled until the election of President Trump.
In some ways, the timing of the nomination and the way the voting took place were unprecedented in the history of the Senate. At the end of the day, a group of Senate Republicans took a stand and ended up winning the right to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice as a new President looked on.