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Supreme Court Deathwatch

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Supreme Court Deathwatch

Postby Huckleby » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:38 pm

We are stuck with a very right wing court, mostly deciding by usual 5-4 split

Nothing good is going to happen until either Scalia or Kennedy pass on to their final reward. I took a look at recent SC retirements, and the median age is 78. Scalia and Kennedy could easily hang-on through Obama's term. We're gonna need a Dem victory in 2016 to tip balance.

80 Ruth Bader Ginsburg
77 Antonin Scalia
77 Anthony Kennedy

75 Stephen Breyer
65 Clarence Thomas
63 Samuel Alito

59 Sonia Sotomayor
58 John G. Roberts
53 Elena Kagan

Age at retirement of recent justices:

90 John Paul Stevens
86 Harry Blackmun
84 William J. Brennan, Jr.
83 Thurgood Marshall
81 William Rehnquist (died while serving)
80 Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
79 Warren E. Burger
77 Byron White
76 Sandra Day O'Connor
70 David Souter
66 Potter Stewart
61 Charles Evans Whittaker
59 Abe Fortas (died while serving)
57 Arthur Goldberg (resigned to take another job)
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Re: Supreme Court Deathwatch

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:30 am

I think the most important cases of the next decade are probably going to be about privacy and the limits of government power. I'm not certain I'm any more comfortable with an Obama appointee in that role than I am with any of the conservative justices.

Not sure if Kennedy or Scalia have any health issues, but accepting that he is healthy, I can easily see Scalia holding on another 6-10 years till he gets someone he like in the Oval office. I think whoever is in the office is going to have a hard time putting a non-centrist in to replace Kennedy without having 60 or more members of their party in the Senate.
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Re: Supreme Court Deathwatch

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:47 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I think the most important cases of the next decade are probably going to be about privacy and the limits of government power.

The court the past 15 years has been mostly about consolidating corporate power and control by the wealthy. The powerless have become more so. We've lost any ability to fight powerful interests in court. Class action suits are practically a thing of the past. I expect the court will continue to side against individual rights.

I know I sound like a left wing idealogue, but I come from being a pro-corporate, pro-business, neocon Democrat. The reality of the past decade has led me to find common cause with people I used to mock.

You are correct that the SC seeks to roll-back the role of government. That's a tough thing to do, given 80 years of precedent to the contrary, but the majority of the court are very hard right.

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I can easily see Scalia holding on another 6-10 years till he gets someone he like in the Oval office.
Scalia will find a way to operate from the grave if need be. He's the new Rasputin, who was poisoned, shot, and thrown over a bridge into a river - guy came crawling back. I have Scalia penciled-in till age 90, although I pray that the lord might call him home far sooner.

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I think whoever is in the office is going to have a hard time putting a non-centrist in to replace Kennedy without having 60 or more members of their party in the Senate.

No, that is a false comfort. A "centrist" would not vote with the 4 right-wing justices, Kennedy was no centrist if you look at 90% of his votes. Republicans will want to block ANY appointment. Another Sotomayor or Kagan will get through, with no more or less difficult than somebody who has a more right-leaning history. Sotomayor & Kagan are moderates. Look at recent Republican nominees! They are unabashedly far right, the Republicans didn't worry about nominating "centrists", neither will the Democrats.
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Re: Supreme Court Deathwatch

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:38 am

Huckleby wrote:No, that is a false comfort. A "centrist" would not vote with the 4 right-wing justices, Kennedy was no centrist if you look at 90% of his votes.


I didn't think he was, though he's as close as we have right now. I think the minority party will make the president's life hell if his replacement isn't.
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Re: Supreme Court Deathwatch

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:46 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote: I think the minority party will make the president's life hell if his replacement isn't.

Republicans are already on full hell for every judicial appointment. Its not like Dante's Inferno, where there are different layers of hell.

The Republicans are limited by political blow-back, particularly for a highly visible SC confirmation. They would have denied Kagan & Sotomayor if they could have come up with a politically sellable excuse. Future appointments will be the same, and they will almost certainly pass.
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