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View Diary: This election feels different (278 comments)

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  •  No Guarantee's but (10+ / 0-)

    Ginsberg is 79 and in poor health. She will likely retire and we'll be able to replace her with a moderate to liberal Justice.

    Scalia and Kennedy are both 76. While no guarantee's that either will retire or die in the next 4 years they aren't youngsters anymore. Replacing one of them with a moderate to liberal Justice would lock in a moderate-to-liberal majority for the near future.

    Similarly Breyer is 74 and part of the moderate-to-liberal coalition on the court.

    The rest are fairly young with Thomas at 64 and Alito at 62. Sotomayor 58, Roberts 57, and Kagan 52.

    I think replacing Ginsberg is highly likely during Obama's term.

    I think replacing Scalia, Kennedy and Breyer more likely during the next President's term(s) though could happen during this term for one or more of them.

    Consequently, re-electing Obama makes it possible for us to stop there from being a conservative court and maintain the divided court we currently have. Electing Hillary Clinton (if she wants it) or someone else to succeed Barack Obama in 2016 is critical to ensuring a moderate-to-liberal court going forward for the next 20 years or so. If we allow the Republicans to take the White House again in 2016 we're in deep trouble in regard to the court.

    The good news is that a Republican candidate has only won the popular vote for President once in the last 6 elections. Once in the last twenty years in other words and the demographic trends are strongly in our favor going forward.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:18:06 AM PST

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    •  Kennedy may realize (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, UniC, FarWestGirl

      which way the wind is blowing and decide that it is finally time.  A more liberal and much younger replacement for him would be huge.  

      Using social security actuarial tables, Scalia's life expectancy right now, at age 76, is 10 more years.  Thomas's is 18 years.  They both have great health insurance, but anger and hubris tend to balance that out.  The chance of one or the other dying in the next four years?  Maybe somewhere around 40-50%.  

      If the numbers work in our favor... then we have a Supreme Court with more balance.  If not... then we still may have a sufficiently different America in 2016 that another Scalia or Bork or Alito won't be nominated, even if the other side gets back in.

      The alternative - Ginsberg at 79 and ill and Mitt in office - is too terrifying to contemplate.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:07:52 PM PST

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      •  Yup... the key was protecting Ginsberg's seat (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeadHead, UniC, ivorybill

        Obama may or may not have an opportunity to replace one of the so-called conservatives. The next President, 2016 and beyond, most certainly will.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:55:16 PM PST

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