View Full Version : More Supreme Court vacancies ahead?
09-02-2009, 10:49 AM
I see this as a clear indication that Stevens will retire very soon. He knows that Obama can get his replacement through the Senate without any Republican support. However, who knows what the balance will be after the midterm election?
I'd also like to see Ginsburg resign. She's been in poor health and I'd like to see Obama be able to get 3 nominees through while he's got a commanding majority in the Senate. Obama won't have to negotiate with Republicans who will likely vehemently oppose anyone to the left of Robert Bork. If Obama can appoint 3 liberals to the court in his first two years, then he can appoint someone more moderate if there is a surprise resignation or death of one of the conservative members.
09-02-2009, 11:00 AM
I think it's a safe bet there will eventually be more Supreme Court vacancies. ;)
There is always a degree of tea-leaf reading with this stuff, but Stevens is going to be 90 next year, so as far as I'm concerned it was always a guarantee that Obama (or McCain, had he won) was going to be the one to appoint his replacement. <<Wow, well, I got the rest of this wrong. Nevermind.>>
The ages of the other justices:
Ginsburg - 76
Scalia - 73
Kennedy - 73
Breyer - 71
Thomas - 61
Alito - 59
Roberts - 55
Sotomayor - 55
Diogenes the Cynic
09-02-2009, 11:15 AM
Replacing Stevens and Ginsberg would just be holding serve. The real score will be if he can replace a conservative.
Sotomayor is a moderate, though, not a liberal. I would like to see some appointees a lot more liberal than that get on the Court. If the Republicans are going to draw horns on someone as middle of road as Sotomayor, Obama might as well make it worth their while. Let's see Janet Reno get shoved down their throats.
Qin Shi Huangdi
09-02-2009, 11:43 AM
I can't see why we Republicans had to support Justice Sotomayor and Congressmen had to vote for her while Democrats didn't more Bork.
09-02-2009, 12:10 PM
Stevens may be old but he's apparently in good health and enjoys the job.
My bet for the next (or second, if Stevens takes a downturn), based on reading Jeffrey Toobin's "The Nine", would be Scalia - he reportedly has little intellectual influence over the others (thank Og) and regularly makes comments about not liking the job all that much.
Curtis, it's all in your Civics text.
09-02-2009, 12:50 PM
Scalia doesn't seem to want to set longevity records like Rehnquist and Stephens, but recent history is that conservative justices won't retire under a Democrat and the liberal justices won't quit if a Republican is president. Scalia is his own man but I don't think he'll buck that trend.
09-02-2009, 12:55 PM
Stevens is reportedly in good health, and in position to break two separate longevity records -- longest service on the court (Black) and oldest sitting justice (Holmes). Rumor has it that if his health holds, he wants to try for both. (Plus, being the leader of the liberal wing against Scalia 7 Co. appeals to his maverick streak, which has been evident since he was first appointed.)
09-02-2009, 01:05 PM
Based on Holmes' age when he quit - he was almost 91 - Stephens would have to serve out the 2010 and 2011 terms to break that record. And he would need to stay on the court until the summer of 2012 to get to the tenure mark.
09-09-2009, 10:53 AM
I wouldn't put it past him. I agree that no conservative justice is likely to willingly resign while Obama is in the White House.
There's a story that 90-year-old Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was riding in his carriage one day with a law clerk and passed a lovely young lady on the sidewalk. Holmes smiled and said under his breath, "Oh, to be 70 again!"
Jeffrey Toobin's The Nine, which ElvisL1ves mentioned, is a great look at the court today, and a very interesting mix of history, politics, law and gossip. Highly recommended.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.