Monday, March 16, 2009

Supreme Court Vacancy?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hinted at a possible vacancy "soon" at the US Supreme Court, without indicating who would be leaving.

Speaking Friday at New England Law Boston's annual "Law Day," Ginsburg told students that the nine justices only take pictures together when a new member joins the high court.

Ginsburg, who turns 76 on Sunday, declined to elaborate on her comments. She underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in early February but has returned to the bench. Despite speculation that she might leave the court, Ginsburg has on several occasions expressed her intention to remain on the court for several more years.

Only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she is one of five justices who are over 70 years old. Justice John Paul Stevens, the most liberal of the justices, is the oldest at 88. He turns 89 next month. Stevens, Ginsburg or fellow liberal justice David Souter, 69, have been expected possibly to retire soon, so it is likely that the whoever Obama replaces will be a liberal and so the overall balance of the court will remain the same.