This stopped me in my reading tracks this morning while reading through the papers and blogs. Among the many points columnist Dan Payne makes today in his Boston Globe piece titled “So You Want to be a McCain Democrat?” where he chides Obama or Clinton supporters who say they will vote for McCain if their candidate doesn’t get the Democratic nomination is this bit about the current composition of the aging United States Supreme Court:
The day the next president takes office, five of the nine Supreme Court justices will be over 70. John Paul Stevens will be 88; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75; Anthony Kennedy, 71; Stephen Breyer, 70; and, I smile as I write this, Antonin Scalia is 72.
The next president will probably pick one or two of their replacements; maybe more, if he or she is reelected. McCain, who favors the repeal of Roe v. Wade, promises conservative audiences, “We’re going to have justices like [John] Roberts and [Samuel] Alito.”
If the next president is re-elected Payne is correct, and that person is quite probably nominating more than two justices, possibly three maybe four justices. Payne next offers this:
Would President McCain put his Senate pals on the Supreme Court, his mini-me, Lindsey Graham, or Joe Lieberman? They would sail through the Senate; senators like to confirm fellow senators.
Our system is far from perfect. No system is perfect, but the way it works is still important and interconnected to the rest of the system. There’s much wrong with our electoral process, including the fact that it’s still a first past the post horse race, but having a horse in the race matters, even if it’s not your preferred horse.