Tuesday, May 26, 2009
When Bill Clinton picked Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Supreme Court, I was vexed because at age 60, it meant she'd spend substantially less time on the bench than other candidates (pace Thomas et al). More frequent turnover of "liberal" justices means a particular seat can be captured should a resignation or death occur while a Republican is president. And it almost happened a year or two ago.
Now Barack Obama has picked Sonia Sotomayor to replace Souter. And I'm vexed once again. That's she's 54 year old is a good aspect, but I wonder about the life expectancy given that she's been diagnosed with Type I diabetes since age eight. Reports vary considerably, with estimates of a life shortened by anything between 15 and 0 years (much depends on treatment and improvements in drugs). So maybe it won't be a factor.
But I remain vexed.
Y'know, I had the same thought.
Now I see that she also was (I presume past tense) a heavy smoker.
I used to smoke too, so I'm not judging-- but I just wish there were zero life-shortening risk factors when Dems get to nominate a S.C. Justice.
OTOH, maybe Roberts will choke on a corporation's phallus, as much as he pleasures them.
I had same thoughts.
Unfortunately, people place their ego above the good of the nation. She probably knows she has a shorter lifespan, and just doesn't give a damn. If she did give a damn, she'd gracefully decline to accept the candidacy for the position at the outset.
Same thing applies to Ruth G if she doesn't resign during Obama's first term.
Unfortunately, people place their ego above the good of the nation. She probably knows she has a shorter lifespan, and just doesn't give a damn. If she did give a damn, she'd gracefully decline to accept the candidacy for the position at the outset.Absolute bullshit.
Maybe you haven't heard of a thing called modern medicine. Diabetes is highly manageable. My mother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1969, at the age of 35. She'll be 75 in August, and she's still going strong. Diabetes is not an automatic death sentence or life-shortener. The comments here are silly. Yours too, Quiddity.
Personally I am against 'for life' positions in general. Either put in a mandatory retirement age or set term limits.
If that were possible I would also expand to 16* members with the most senior** being the chief justice and 1 judge stepping down to be replaced each year (that one being the most senior, if noone else retires voluntarily or dies in that period).
*as e.g. in Germany
**senior not in age but time on the court
maybe it's a suspicion that she isn't really as liberal is being alleged is what's vexing you.
Anon: No, it's not that she may be less liberal than advertised. It's simply that when the seat is for life, that becomes a paramount consideration for the position. I would rather there be no "for life" positions because it's kind of a crap shoot. One you can game to some extent, as the Republicans certainly have.
I may have a post later, if I do the math, on the long term trend if Republicans put justices with a 30 year expected duration, and Democrats put justices with a 20 year duration. It's some matrix math I'm too tired to look up at the moment, but my sense is that you end up with something like 3 liberals, 6 conservatives on average.