The Empty Chair

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s courtroom chair is draped in black to mark his death as part of a tradition that dates to the 19th century / AP

“If you keep on blocking judges from getting on the bench, then courts cannot issue decisions,” President Obama said Thursday, in response to deadlock in the Supreme Court over his use of executive authority to liberalize immigration laws. The president blamed the defeat on the refusal of Republican senators to consider his nominee to replace the late justice Antonin Scalia. “That may have been the strategy from the start,” he went on, “but it is not a sustainable strategy. It is a strategy that will be broken by this election. Unless their basic theory is we’ll never confirm justices again.”