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May 14, 2010

Might a Justice Kagan speed or slow Justice Ginsburg's decision to retire?

I am still not seeing much of unique interest for sentencing fans in this week's Kagan coverage (though I have not been able to keep up with even a portion of all the Kagan links at How Appealing).  In any event, while thinking about the future of SCOTUS, the question in the title of this post came to mind, and I thought it would make a good topic for a Friday discussion. 

This New York Times piece from a few days ago noted that during her confirmation hearings in 1993, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg predicted that she would eventually be one of 'three, four, perhaps even more women on the high court bench.'”  There seems little doubt that Justice Ginsburg will be pleased that he prediction will finally become true if and when SG Kagan gets confirmed.  But I could see how this reality might make Justice Ginsburg both more comfortable stepping down and also less eager to retire any time soon. 

Justice Ginsburg may well want to step down during an administration with a President who has shown a deep commitment to putting more women on the Supreme Court; she also may well want to spend a number of Terms enjoying the experience of having more than just one other woman on the Court.  Of course, Justice Ginsburg's health and other considerations (like the results of this Fall's election) will surely also play a big role in her thinking.  Still, I cannot help but think that one of the many considerations that has prompted President Obama to nominate two women for open SCOTUS seats has been a sense that these choices might have at least an indirect impact on whether and when he gets to make some more SCOTUS appointments.

On this front, here is an interesting trivia twist to the prospect of President Obama getting another SCOTUS appointment opportunity:  the last President to appoint three Justices was Ronald Reagan and the last Democratic President to appoint more than two Justices was Harry S Truman.

Some recent related posts on the Kagan nomination:

May 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

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Justice Ginsburg is occupying the white, male, Protestant seat. She needs to get out for its proper possession. I do not want a nation run by the type of freaks and statistical deviants now on the Court. In every way, I am the opposite of a white, male, Protestant, but I want a nice boring one on the court, and in the White House. There are no example of successful nations nor of political subunits of states run by black folks, by gays, nor by cross dressers. Most examples of such have proven catastrophic, such as Nazi Germany, an all homosexual government, the US under Lincoln. What an unmitigated disaster that bisexual lawyer, Mr. "Please Do Not Sue Your Neighbor," proved to be for our nation.

Here are some case-control historical experiments. Israel before white, male Europeans run it. Israel after white male Europeans run it. Zimbabwe. South Africa. New York City. Detroit. I would like to get counter-examples because this historical uniformity is distressing to those who do not believe in an oppose racism, such as me.

Maggie Thatcher ran a tight ship, as did Golda Meier, and Indira Gandhi. So heterosexual females cause less of a problem as national leaders. I hope that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia disproves the racial pattern of failure. She appears fully capable of doing so, if permitted by the internal hierarchy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 15, 2010 7:02:36 PM

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