Justice Antonin Scalia's death is a test for the American political system — a test it's unlikely to pass.
The test is simple. Can divided government actually govern, given today's more polarized parties? In the past, it could. In 1988, a presidential election year, a Democratic Senate unanimously approved President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court. The Senate wasn't passive; it had previously rejected Reagan's initial nominee, Robert Bork, and his second choice Douglas Ginsburg dropped out of the running. However, it ultimately did its job — even amidst an election and divided party control of the government.
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