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[CNN] CNN 2016-02-19

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[Homework]CNN 2016-02-19

US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, and said there was a political battle brewing over his replacement. Today we are explaining why. First, the Consitution. It says the president nominated justices to the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the Senate. What that means is that the Senate has the power to confirm or reject whoever the president nominates. Now the plug second. The president is a Democrat, the Senate controlled by Republicans. And while the president and congressional Democrats wants Scalia's successor nominated and confirmed this year, Republicans want to wait until after a new president is sworn in to move forward with Supreme Court nominees. Why this tension? Here is a political split in the Supreme Court. Until justice Scalia's death, 5 of the High Court's members were nominated by Republican president, 4 were nominated by Democratic president. Now though the Court is split 4-4. So the new justice could dramatically impact the cases that divide the Court. Federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, serve for life. That's why president regard this judicial appointment as such an important way to extend their own legacy. The Constitution does not set out a resume that a Supreme Court justice has to have. There is no requirement in the Constitution that a Supreme Court justice even be a lawyer. But, traditionally, president have nominated impactably qualified sitting judges. Both president and Senators like to say that's a confirmation process. It's all about qualifications. But it's really also about politics. Virtually every important issue in American policitian even American life lines up in front of the Supreme Court. And they have the last word. Both president and the Senators trying to figure out how the nominee stands on the hotspot issues that the Supreme Court deals with. And that's why the Senators will vote yes or no. [2:09]

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