Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Disappearing Court: The intense politicization of judiciary nominations and confirmations has been a hobbyhorse of mine for a few years. I think both parties are hurting themselves each time they use the out-of-power position as a duck blind for picking off nominees simply becuase they can. The Democrats have always been more ruthless (Thomas's porn) and effective (Pickering's "racism"), but the succeed only in nomalizing their own techniques.

Stuart Taylor has the doomsday scenario:

July 1, 2008 -- With the retirement of 88-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens today, the Supreme Court's membership dwindled to four. The remaining two liberals (Stephen Breyer and David Souter) and two conservatives (Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas) are almost certain to deadlock on big issues including abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, religion, and presidential war powers. So any tie-breaking replacement for Stevens would be in a position to rewrite vast areas of constitutional law.
Unlikely, sure -- but what's the alternative? A wishy-washy court of sensible moderates? Nine Steve Breyers? No thanks.

(Link via RCP.)

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