The Corner

The Multiple Vacancies Scenario

Doesn’t the pressure on the GOP to nominate a balanced slate of justices increase the more vacancies there are? Let’s say we had four justices retire–not that I’ve heard a rumor to that effect! (Although at the rate of rumor production, I should probably add the word “yet.”) It is possible to imagine a scenario where Bush puts four conservative nominees in a row on the Court. It’s very hard to imagine him getting four conservatives at the same time. The more justices he’s replacing at one time, the more radical a conservative slate would look. Also, and relatedly, doesn’t an increased number of vacancies make it easier for Bush to name Gonzales to the Court over conservatives’ objections? (“Easier” is of course a relative term. If Bush wants Gonzales on the Court, he can make it happen, and conservatives had better understand that no amount of complaining will change that.) I’m hoping there’s one vacancy at a time, though at a regular clip.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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