View Full Version : Rehnquist and the Supreme Court

11-03-2004, 06:53 AM
As has already been reported, Chief Justice Rehnquist apparently has a serious form of thyroid cancer and will be working from home for a while.

In light of Bush's victory, it seems to me probable that he will leave the bench within the next year or so. If so, I'd be inclined to predict that Bush will nominate the elevation of Justice Antonin Scalia to the CJ spot, and probably seek to fill Scalia's seat with a relatively young (45-50) year old conservative, who most likely would be Hispanic.

As I've stated before, it seems likely that Bush will have the opportunity to fill quite a few seats on the court over the next four years. Replacing Rehnquist won't change the balance of power on the Supreme Court per se, as he is quite conservative.

But if he's replacing Sandra Day O'Connor (probable) or David Souter (unlikely) over the next four years with someone more conservative than those relatively moderate Republicans, that will effect some change.

Significant change will really come if/when he replaces Justice John Paul Stevens, who is older than dirt, and quite liberal. Thomas, Breyer, Ginsberg, Kennedy and Scalia are not particularly likely to leave the court over the next 4 years, although Kennedy leaving while a Republican is in power isn't impossible.