For anyone considering the 2012 election’s importance to the future of the American judiciary, one fact stands out: next November, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be seventy-nine years old. If a Republican wins the presidential election, he or she may have an opportunity to seat Ginsburg’s successor, replacing the Supreme Court’s most reliably liberal jurist with a conservative. That would mean that the Court -- currently balanced almost elegantly between four liberals, four conservatives, and the moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy -- would finally tilt decisively to the right… A 2008 study by Richard Posner, a federal appeals court judge, and William Landes, a law professor at the University of Chicago, examined the voting records of seventy years of Supreme Court justices in order to rank the forty-three justices who have served on the Court since 1937. They concluded that four of the five most conservative justices to serve on the Supreme Court since 1937 sit on the Supreme Court today. Justice Clarence Thomas ranked first. Kennedy, who is ranked tenth in that study, will be seventy-six next November. If a Republican successor of Obama gets to replace both Kennedy and Ginsburg, it’s fair to predict that the Roberts Court may include five or even six of the most conservative jurists since the FDR era.Needless to say, these so-called "conservative" jurists would surely be better denoted radical plutocrats with profoundly reactionary social and cultural views and an urgent activist agenda in mind.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Obama 2012: If the Supreme Court Skews We Are Supremely Screwed