The point I’m trying to make here is not that the Senate should do this or that, but that whatever it does, replacing Scalia in the current polarized atmosphere is going to tear our already frayed bonds even worse. How can anyone who cares about the country look forward to what’s to come? The result of the confirmation battle, whatever side wins, will be simply this: that we will hate each other even more across partisan lines.
It is, of course, bizarre that it has come to this for the nation: that the nomination of a Supreme Court justice could inspire such passions. But that’s because of the role the Court has taken in the culture war. This is the poisoned fruit of what Ted Kennedy and his Senate Democratic colleagues did to Robert Bork. And this is also the poisoned fruit of the culture-war results-oriented jurisprudence of the Court — especially Reagan appointee Anthony Kennedy — on abortion and same-sex marriage. It fell to Scalia, over and over again, to reveal the partisan emptiness of these rulings, and therefore how nakedly political the Court had become on defending the Sexual Revolution at all costs.