Under fire for decades by power-hungry leftists, a great American institution — the Rule of Law — passed away over the weekend at 228.

Concurrently, one of the last defenders of the Rule of Law, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was found dead at a ranch resort in West Texas. He was 79. Almost before his body had assumed room temperature, the politics began.

With Scalia, conservatives (or those who share that general view) held a one-vote majority, which often led to cases decided by a 5-4 vote. Now liberals salivate at the prospect of a majority and further eviscerating things they despise, such as the First and Second amendments.

Since the Senate must confirm a nominee submitted by the president, leaders from each party were the first to speak up.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Minority Leader Harry Reid: “It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat. Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential constitutional responsibilities.”

This issue increases the stakes on the presidential campaign trail. In the meantime, real cases before the High Court will be affected. One likely to go unions’ (and Democrats’) way is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. A lower court determined that non-union teachers can be forced to pay dues for collective bargaining; now a reversal is unlikely.

The president has floated the usual list of loons (Loretta Lynch?) as potential justices. Those rooting for the issue to be decided in the election best remember that depending on Senate Republicans’ backbone never works well.