February 28, 2024

Amid the commotion of this election cycle, it is understandable the focus of many voters is fixed on the two presidential candidates and their ongoing battle with each other.

With shots being traded left and right at the debate and rallies, this election has already established itself as one of the most remarkably insane ones since the founding of our

Lost in between the party lines, though, is the need to properly balance our three-branch government system.

Let us not forget there has been a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court since Feb. 13, when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died.

Priority No. 1 for whomever gets the nod for the presidency should be appointing a new justice to the SCOTUS, regardless of party affiliations.

Split decisions are not conducive to creating an efficient federal court system as many issues, be it major or minor, are sent back down to their origins in a weird state of tie-vote limbo.

It should not have been as large of a problem as it was after Justice Scalia’s passing, but because of the volatile nature of the two-party system, there was no way to avoid it.

Of course, this is not the first instance in the past 50 years in which there have only been eight appointed justices, but it is one-of-a-kind in the sense it occurred during such a turbulent election cycle.

The 4-4 decisions that have and will continue to occur result in non-uniform laws at the state and local levels. The whole point of the SCOTUS is to rule on and set the tone of ultimate uniformity, and if they are unable to do this main function of government, then what is the point of even trying to rule on controversial topics in state and federal law?

Besides stagnation there is another looming item on the agenda of the justices in the form of retirement from office, for whatever reason it may be.

The national court system cannot afford to fall into this unproductive cycle anymore, because at the end of the day, the system of checks and balances intended to occur within this three-branch governmental system does not happen.

A logical solution to this issue could be having a waiting list, or at least a reserve of some kind of equally qualified judicial officers to fill gaps on the SCOTUS in the event of a retirement or untimely death. 

Surely there is another individual or two out there who is neutral enough to please both major parties in the event that a SCOTUS void needs to be filled during an already backed up season of hearings and appeals.

It may sound far-fetched but having an interim Supreme Court justice or justices would not be the worst idea to repair this cycle.

Party affiliations aside, what our country needs just as much as a new president is a complete and capable Supreme Court.

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