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(GEORGE CURRY MEDIA)—It was no surprise the January 13 death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia immediately provoked a right-wing frenzy that’s raised the prospect of a constitutional crisis at the highest level of government.

At stake is whether the Court will continue to be dominated by the 5-to-4 conservative bloc—of which Scalia was the harshest voice—or swing to a new 5-to-4 liberal majority.

The certainty that President Obama this week will nominate someone who is not a conservative to replace the arch-conservative Scalia has not only undermined the “liberal disaster” rulings widely expected in several significant cases before the Court this term. It would also make unlikely a future Supreme Court’s approving more of the conservative movement’s legal agenda on such issues as abortion rights, affirmative action, voting rights and protections for workers.

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