“A Polarized Supreme Court, Growing More So”

Adam Liptak in the NYT:

In losing the 2016 presidential election, Democrats may have given up the chance to change the balance of power on the Supreme Court for a generation. Judge Gorsuch is 49. If he serves as long as Justice Stevens, the last member of the court to retire, he will still be hearing cases in 2052. He would be 84, as old as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is now.

Actuarial realities suggest that President Trump will have additional chances to move the court to the right. The court’s three oldest members are Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, 80, a moderate conservative who holds the decisive vote in many closely divided cases, and the court’s two senior liberals, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, 78, and Justice Ginsburg.

Were Mr. Trump to replace any of the three, a court that generally leans right would have a rock-solid conservative majority.


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