This article originally appeared on MarketWatch.
The death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia leaves America poorer. Our country has lost not only an eminent jurist, but also a witty, humorous person who could explain the law in a way that normal people could understand. In addition, Scalia’s passing crystallizes the importance of the presidential election. For better or for worse, the Supreme Court is a far more important and politically sensitive institution in our government than it ever was before.
President Obama said he will nominate a replacement for Scalia, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that no one will be confirmed before the election in November. McConnell will prevail, of course, setting up yet another source of contention between the parties in the months ahead. The question of Scalia’s replacement featured prominently in the Republican debate.