Whoever fills the Scalia seat, the future of the Court hangs in the balanceby James D Zirin / October 13, 2016 / Leave a comment
The future of the Supreme Court will be determined in the American presidential election. Now ideologically deadlocked at 4-4 since the death last February of rock-ribbed conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, the Justice filling the ninth seat will tip the balance. In accepting the nomination as Donald Trump’s running mate, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said: “Americans should know that while we are filling the presidency for the next four years, this election will define the Supreme Court for the next forty.”
God, gays and guns are the hot-button issues coming up before the Court. Throw in campaign finance and abortion, and the Justices’ work is cut out for them. Court watchers speculate that, in addition to the vacancy created by Scalia’s unexpected death, three other vacancies may soon occur by reason of death or retirement. Since these are life appointments, the next President could shape the Court, and US politics, for a generation.
Trump stressed gun rights in a controversial speech, saying: “Hillary wants to abolish the second [amendment guaranteeing gun rights], pick her judges…But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied.”