... under circumstances like these.
Since we've done away with original intent and reading the document as it's written and since many believe that the Constitution is a living document, whoever is on the Supreme Court is effectively rewriting it as they go along. Religious liberty, gun rights, gay marriage, abortion - all of these are up for grabs or being created from whole cloth. The only protection a citizen has from waking up and finding that the nation changed dramatically overnight is this nominee.
It's not that Scalia's death puts the Supreme Court in the balance, it's that his death puts the Constitution itself in the balance. The basic rules of what the government can and can't do are more fluid than ever, so this nominee will hold ultimate power over the citizen's compact with his government.
Does that make this nominee effectively dictator for life?