Posted by Rojas @ 11:49 pm on July 30th 2007

John Roberts and the nuclear option

Earlier this week, Senator Chuck Schumer argued that the Roberts and Alito hearings had involved deliberately misleading statements by the nominees, and that as a consequence the Senate ought to refuse to approve any new administration nominee for the judiciary. One would assume that Schumer was thinking in terms of the lower courts or a possible Stevens retirement. But with the Chief Justice himself now in ill health, a lot of interesting angles suddenly come into play.

It would appear that Roberts will be fine to return to the bench. What, though, if he wasn’t? Bush would certainly nominate someone of similar views to replace him; could the Democrats get away with stonewalling a replacement for Roberts as easily as, say, a replacement for Stevens? Bear in mind that this would likely mean the Supreme Court hearing cases with an even number of justices and no Chief Justice. Seems to me that might carry a political price for the Dems.

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