What Does Justice Scalia’s Death Mean for Congress and the Nation?

Source: CRS Reports & Analysis, CRS Legal Sidebar, February 16, 2016

Over the weekend, the nation was shocked to learn of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The death of the longest serving and, in the view of some commentators, most influential Justice on the current Court will have significant implications for the third branch of government. Justice Scalia’s absence may alter the outcome of several cases of interest to Congress pending before the Court and could mark a seismic shift in many legal doctrines, depending on who is confirmed to fill the newly vacant seat on the Court. The job of confirming the President’s nomination to fill the vacancy resides with the Senate, making Justice Scalia’s death likely to have a profound impact in both the short and long term on Congress. This sidebar, the first of several pending CRS projects on Justice Scalia and the new Supreme Court vacancy, provides an overview of the major implications of Justice Scalia’s death for Congress……