With the newest addition to the Arizona Supreme Court, Justice John Pelander, (a University of Arizona alumni) having his investiture ceremony last week, I couldn’t help but think toward the future of the United States Supreme Court.
Obama has already placed one Justice on the Court – Justice Sotomayor. Before his term ends, at least two more will secure his judicial legacy. Justice Stevens, already 89, will likely be the next one to retire. This year, he only hired one law clerk rather than the four he has customarily taken. Stevens is also considered to be the most liberal justice on the bench.
But if Stevens remains, the next probable candidate is Ginsburg. Nominated by Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg has been plagued with health issues – colorectal cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009 and a brief hospitalization this past September.
The retirement of these two justice will not affect the dichotomy of the Court. Both Ginsburg and Stevens form part of the liberal-leaning block and Obama will certainly appoint two more with younger judges with similar ideologies.
However, the court still remains in delicate balance between conservatives and liberals.