Even with George W. Bush in charge of Supreme Court appointments...
Sorry to get waaaay OT here, but I get so sick of seeing this stuff. There are a couple important things to recognize here:
- The Supreme Court only deals with cases that make it that far in the first place, and even then, they don't take all of those. Granted, a highly controversial case is likely to be appealed until it gets to the high court, so this point is weak.
- The current Supreme Court justices may very well serve for 4, 8, ...? more years each. They are in good health, and appear to enjoy their jobs and work well together. Rehnquist is the oldest, but he is conservative in his views, so his departure doesn't win anything for Bush, other than perhaps a younger conservative justice.
Finally, take a look at the current justices and who nominated each of them:
- Rehnquist, Nixson
- Stevens, Ford
- O'Connor, Reagan
- Scalia, Reagan
- Kennedy, Reagan
- Souter, Bush
- Thomas, Bush
- Ginsburg, Clinton
- Breyer, Clinton
Thomas and Scalia are clearly far right in their political views, and are considered wins for the Republican presidents who put them in office. Rehnquist is also conservative. The rest, though, have frequently voted opposite the way they would be expected to, based on the president that nominated them.
There's a saying that the bench "makes liberals out of conservatives, and conservatives out of liberals". Souter is a great example. Bush was hoping to get a conservative justice, but Souter has become the court's leading liberal.
The point here, is that the whole issue of the president bending the Supreme Court to his will with new nominations is bunk. The Supreme Court rarely answers to anyone (that's by design), and a president's nominees are far from a sure thing.
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
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