Obama and the Supreme Court

Although the McCain loss is damaging, it is not necessarily a fatal blow to the US Constitution.

Obama would seek to remake the Constitution through the vehicle of the Supreme Court, which is the most readily available means of doing so.

However, the Senate retains enough Republican members to block any nominee. Should the Republicans seek to unite they can have a functional veto because the Democrat members have insufficient numbers to break a filibuster without a Republican defection.

If, as I expect, Ginsberg and Stevens resign, the "strict constructionists" will have a majority of four to three. It is desirable, but not constitutionally necessary, to have a nine-member court. Thus, by simply blocking liberal replacements, a conservative majority on the court could be established.

One unknown is the effect that such action would have on the electorate.

In either event, assuming only liberals leave the court, then Obama only replaces what he has lost and there is no net change, at least in the short run.

Although the McCain loss is damaging, it is not necessarily a fatal blow to the US Constitution.

Obama would seek to remake the Constitution through the vehicle of the Supreme Court, which is the most readily available means of doing so.

However, the Senate retains enough Republican members to block any nominee. Should the Republicans seek to unite they can have a functional veto because the Democrat members have insufficient numbers to break a filibuster without a Republican defection.

If, as I expect, Ginsberg and Stevens resign, the "strict constructionists" will have a majority of four to three. It is desirable, but not constitutionally necessary, to have a nine-member court. Thus, by simply blocking liberal replacements, a conservative majority on the court could be established.

One unknown is the effect that such action would have on the electorate.

In either event, assuming only liberals leave the court, then Obama only replaces what he has lost and there is no net change, at least in the short run.