Upcoming Supreme Court Vacancies?
ABC News reports that the White House is preparing for the possibility of two Supreme Court vacancies this spring. That would be sensible contingency planning, and I only wish that the White House would prepare as seriously for national-security contingencies. But my own guess is that there will be one vacancy. Specifically, my guess is that Justice Stevens will retire unless Justice Ginsburg’s health requires her to do so, in which case I think that Stevens would stick it out for another year.
One passage in the article’s discussion of leading candidates surprised me—namely, the assertion that Solicitor General Elena Kagan “is known as one of the finest constitutional scholars in the country, dazzling both liberal and conservative friends with her intellectual prowess and her ability to find consensus among ideological opposites.” I have plenty of respect for Kagan’s intellect, but she’s written relatively little, and I don’t think that anyone regards her as being in the top tier of “constitutional scholars.” She has earned acclaim for being an effective dean, not for “dazzling … intellectual prowess.”