(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Friday, July 08, 2005

Supreme Court
I am hereby on record as saying that, if the Chief Justice retires in the next few days as widely expected, it will be a good thing. This has nothing to do with the Chief Justice himself, but is instead about the process. Two vacancies right now would be better than one not only because (as many have pointed out) it creates at least the greater possibility of some compromise (with one nominee more in the Rehnquist mold and another more in the O'Connor mold). I am not especially hopeful that the President will move towards compromise in that way. But even then, two vacancies would be better than one because of the impact in case of meltdown or prolonged stalemate -- if the Term is to start with fewer than 9 on the bench (which wouldn't be good but is a possibility if the President avoids compromise), it would be better to have 7 instead of 8. Why? Because 4-4 ties are a total bummer and a waste of time in the Supreme Court.

posted by sam 9:33 AM 3 comments


But didn't Sandra say she would sit until replaced? Wouldn't that make it 4-4?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:38 PM  

I thought that I had read that she said "until replacement is confirmed or October, whichever comes first." could easily be wrong. but in any event I don't think that her willingess to stick around will be infinite, if there is stalemate.

By Blogger sam, at 9:21 PM  

Oh, sure, especially when it's *your* time that could get wasted!

By Blogger Chris, at 4:50 PM  

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