Six of Nine
by Yalin, Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:21:47 PM EDT
Something dawned on me as I contemplated the upcoming Presidential Election. We are about to witness one of the greatest turning overs of the Supreme Court in the history of the United States.
Age as of January, 2009, Inauguration Day:
Justice John Paul Stevens: 88 years
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 74 years
Justice Antonin Scalia: 72 years -- Conservative
Justice Anthony Kennedy: 71 years -- Swing Vote Conservative
Justice Stephen Breyer: 70 years
Justice David Souter: 69 years -- Swing Vote
Clearly, the liberal wing of the Supreme Court is set to retire completely within the next decade. See below:
Age as of January, 2017, Inauguration Day of the following President:
Justice John Paul Stevens: 96 years
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 82 years
Justice Antonin Scalia: 80 years -- Conservative
Justice Anthony Kennedy: 79 years -- Swing Vote Conservative
Justice Stephen Breyer: 78 years
Justice David Souter: 77 years -- Swing Vote
And coming up shortly thereafter in 2017?
Justice Clarence Thomas: 68 years
Justice Samuel Alito: 66 years
Justice John Roberts: 62 years
In other words, the next President will literally define the Supreme Court for a generation in a way that no other President has had an opportunity to do since Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he appointed 9 Justices during his 12 years in office.
Repeat that again. FDR.
Say it one more time for emphasis. F. D. R.
The only other President who would have come close to FDR during the last 60 years would be Dwight Eisenhower, who selected 5 Justices during his tenure from 1953 - 1961.
Ahead of FDR for most appointees in United States history? George Washington. Yes, one of the founding fathers of this nation who was able to appoint 11 justices.
By comparison, the only Presidents in the past 50 years to have served multiple terms, i.e., George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan, each received two appointments.
TL has corrected me in that Reagan appointed three justices, not two.
I cannot stress enough how that much more important it is that Barack Obama secure the White House in light of this fact. If you care about the Environment, Women's rights, Gay rights, the right of non-US and US Citizens to not be unlawfully spied upon and detained in secret prisons, Union rights, Free Speech, Diversity, Voting rights, the rights of those who are in Prison, and a whole slew of other issues such as Digital Property Rights and Eminent Domain, then you must recognize that this coming President will have enormous power to shape the judicial direction of this country for decades.
We MUST elect Barack Obama to ensure the outcome that sees us move forward, not stay stagnant or even worse, fall backward. It is the nature of this nation's history to push onward in the face of conservative thought that would see the status quo of the human condition remain in perpetuity.
We have an opportunity to shatter that status quo in a way that has not been done in more than half a century. We must grasp it and hold firm.
Please share your thoughts.