The stage is set for a showdown over the unexpected vacancy on the supreme court. President Obama is vowing to move forward with the nomination process, but senate republicans insist it should wait.
Top republican Senator Orrin Hatch joined Midday to weigh in on what will happen next in that area, along with sharing his thoughts on other issues facing the United States.
Not long after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia the political jockeying began. Republican presidential candidates joined Senate republicans in saying an appointment should be put on hold for the next president. President Obama disagrees and says he will follow through with his constitutional right to nominate a replacement. The stances on both sides set up a potential showdown over the Supreme Court.
Senator Hatch also discussed land issues facing the nation.
Members of the Utah Delegation sent a letter to President Obama expressing strong opposition to the use of the Antiquities Act to create a national monument within San Juan County. The land in question covers 1.9 million acres in southeastern Utah. The letter encourages the president to support the locally-driven, ongoing Public Lands Initiative (PLI) process instead of unilaterally designating a monument.
Letter signatures include Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Rep. Mia Love (UT-04).
Key excerpts from the letter:
“Federal land-use policy has a major impact on the lives of those residing within and near federal lands. We believe the wisest land-use decisions are made with community involvement and local support. This principle is true whether skyscrapers or sagebrush surround the community.“Use of the Antiquities Act within will be met with fierce local opposition and will further polarize federal land-use discussions for years, if not decades.“Make no mistake, both the State of Utah and San Juan County value our public lands. With that said, public participation in land-use decisions is critical to their long-term acceptance and success; the most effective land management policy is inclusive and engaging, not veiled and unilateral.”
Another issue facing the nation is relations with North Korea.
Last week the U.S. Senate voted to mandate sanctions against those involved in North Korea’s Nuclear development following recent ballistic and nuclear activities. The legislation is not expected to cease the North’s nuclear efforts, and more tests are anticipated in the near future. The North Koreans have claimed to possess the resources for an attack on the U.S., though many experts have expressed doubt.
The next battleground for the republican presidential candidates is South Carolina on Saturday. Donald Trump heads into South Carolina with a large lead in the polls and at this point is expected to win the state. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ben Carson are working to chip away at his lead.