Saturday, June 12, 2004

O'Connor in the Catbird Seat

The Supreme Court will someday rule on the PBA ban and the makeup of the court will be crucial in this decision.

In reality, though, the real hope for a favorable outcome on the partial-birth law lies in the possibility that, by the time the latest round in the battle reaches the Supreme Court, its membership will have significantly changed.

Whether or not O'Connor remains, it is commonly thought that several of the other justices are awaiting the outcome of the presidential election to decide whether to stay or leave. Victory by the candidate considered likely to appoint successors ideologically resembling oneself would be an incentive to step down, victory by his opponent a reason to hang on. In a couple of instances, furthermore, age, health, and mortality could render all such calculations moot.

And why we need President Bush re-elected:

The split between the candidates is clear. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, says he will name only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court. He opposed the partial-birth ban. President Bush leans toward pro-life jurists but has been stymied by the Democratic minority in the Senate in attempting to place some deemed too outspoken on the issue on lower federal courts. Bush signed the partial-birth ban, twice vetoed by Bill Clinton, into law.

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