The Irreplaceable Justice Ginsburg

Posted on September 14, 2011 by

Let’s hope Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is O.K after sliding down the emergency chute at Dulles following the captain’s orders to evacuate the plane because of “engine problems” before takeoff. 

A solid and thoughtful liberal, Ginsburg had us worried a few years ago with a cancer scare and – as the court’s oldest justice at 78 – she’s someone we can’t afford to lose. 

There’s no way senate republicans would approve an Obama nominee for the court; they won’t even confirm his recent pick for Commerce Secretary

Any Supreme Court vacancy before the 2012 presidential election would sharpen the debate on America’s future and would certainly motivate uninspired democrats. 

The question of the court’s composition comes up every four years.  Don’t forget that George W. Bush got both his appointments – Chief John Roberts and Samuel Alito – after he narrowly defeated John Kerry in ’04. 

President Perry or Romney’s choice would definitely fall in with the conservative block (the days of a George H.W. Bush’s David Souter, Ronald Reagan’s Sandra Day O’Conner and Gerald Ford’s John Paul Stevens are long gone). 

The court’s next term begins in a couple of weeks.  And it’s possible that the justices will strike down the health care act’s individual mandate.

Though some progressives may approve (who wants to force Americans to buy insurance from rip-off private carriers with no public option option?).  But the court’s conservatives could go big on this issue and use the case to undermine a broad range of federal regulatory powers on the environment, worker and consumer safety. 

If that happens, the Obama campaign would have a potent scare tactic to run with: 

A ready-made republican nightmare scenario led by a runaway right wing supreme court.

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