While we will no longer be treated to more dumbass live streams of Rand's dead campaign, we will suffer his dumbass opinions.
The president has the constitutional power and the duty to nominate a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (may he rest in hell), but senator and failed Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul believes the president has a "conflict of interest."
"The president has said he has the power basically to create immigration law out of nothing," Paul said. "He says he has the power to basically cripple entire industries like coal without ever having been given that power by Congress. So see, we have a Constitutional debate on whose powers -- the president or Congress? And I think the president sort of has a conflict of interest here in appointing somebody while we’re trying to decide whether or not he’s already usurped power."
The good news is it's not up to Rand or any other Republican in Congress to decide if President Obama possesses the same power afforded to every other president who came before him.
The executive branch of the federal government actually does have the power to exercise discretion over matters of immigration. The only reason we're having this discussion, and the only reason executive discretion has landed in front of the Supreme Court, is because Republicans judge-shopped and filed their lawsuit against the president's deferred action programs in Texas under the jurisdiction of the arch-conservative 5th Circuit Court
If that lawsuit had been filed in Washington D.C. or almost any other circuit, it wouldn't have made it this far.
Furthermore, as Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress points out, Justica Scalia's absence may be good news for the EPA's clean power plan and thus the planet because an evenly divided court may defer to a lower court dominated by Democrats.
Even if you could make a convincing case that the president has a "conflict of interest," it would still be his obligation to nominate a successor. But just in case it wasn't clear, I think the idea that he has a conflict of interest is horseshit.
An entire field and era of bizarro constitutional "jiggery-pokery" may pass with Scalia. Good riddance.