Besides the presidential election the most important political decision facing the country is the selection of a replacement for Justice Scalia. The president is pulling out all stops to shame the Republican party into making a decision based on Obama’s nomination. The GOP Senate must deliberate as long as it takes to find the nominee who will be a true replacement for Justice Scalia.
The worst thing the GOP Senate could do at this point is to fear a backlash by the electorate for taking its time in deliberation on the replacement to the Supreme Court.
The balance of the Supreme Court could easily be tilted in the direction of activist liberal decisions from the bench for decades to come if the wrong decision is made on this next nominee.
The Senate is under no constitutional obligation to consent to Obama’s nomination if that nomination is not in accordance with the values and judicial acumen required to provide the court with ideological balance and legal competence. Scalia will be difficult to replace, and is probably irreplaceable, but the GOP must do what it has to do to ensure that both judicial competence and ideological balance are retained by SCOTUS.