West Virginia University Assistant Professor of Political Science Patrick Hickey believes that it is very likely that President Barack Obama will be able to win the Senate’s approval of a moderate, qualified nominee in the wake of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death Saturday.

Appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, Scalia was the longest-serving justice to the Court. A conservative, he was also the first justice of Italian-American heritage. Scalia’s death during an election year has raised questions about the confirmation of his successor on the bench.

“History suggests that President Obama will be able to replace Justice Scalia as long as the president nominates a well-qualified, relatively moderate candidate,” Hickey said. “That said, there’s a first time for everything. The historically high level of polarization in today’s Senate makes it possible that we will see new, irregular behavior from Senate Republicans on this matter.”

Hickey’s works focuses on how presidents work with Congress. Hickey recently co-authored a chapter for the Miller Center of Public Affair’s book 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton.

He is among several WVU faculty members who can offer comment and analysis. He can be reached at 304.293.9575 or Patrick.Hickey@mail.wvu.edu

Others include:

Robert Bastress, the John W. Fisher II Professor of Law at the WVU College of Law, is a constitutional law expert. He can be reached at 304.293.5308 or Robert.Bastress@mail.wvu.edu

John Taylor, also a law professor, can offer expertise in the areas of religion and constitutional law. He can be reached at 304.293.8180 or John.Taylor@mail.wvu.edu

Scott Crichlow, chair of the WVU Department of Political Science, can be reached at 304.293.3198 or by email at scott.crichlow@mail.wvu.edu

Shauna Fisher is an associate professor of political science at WVU whose focus of study includes judicial politics, law and courts, and judicial policy-making. She can be reached at 304.293.9804 or sffisher@mail.wvu.edu

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



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