As November 4th approaches, the issues in this election become more defined. Although the candidates and media seem focused on the economy, it should not be forgotten that our next President will be responsible for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. Indeed, a President Obama or President McCain could, in fact, appoint three out of the nine Justices. In a recent article on CNN.com, Bill Mears, wrote as follows:
Many court watchers think any vacancy in the high court over the next four years would probably involve three left-leaning justices. John Paul Stevens is 88, but appears to be in good health, and court sources say he has no intention of retiring. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75 and has had past health problems, but she too has told friends she enjoys serving on the court. And David Souter, who turned 69 last month, has made no secret of his disdain of the Washington life and would be happier in his New Hampshire homestead. But his colleagues and friends say that while he is an extremely private man who does not reveal much personally, he has given no indication of leaving the bench anytime soon.
“The importance of the speculation is that all three of them are on the court’s list of possible retirements,” Goldstein said. “Nobody on the right is really thinking of leaving.”
For the entire article click, Election Could Decide Future of the Federal Courts.
Although this has been a difficult campaign, my hope is that both candidates will respect that the founding fathers intended the Supreme Court to be the third branch of the United States government. It may be naive, but perhaps President Obama or President McCain will select Supreme Court Justices based not on a “litmus test” created by special interest groups, but based entirely on the qualifications of each individual jurist. We shall see.