Thursday, December 14, 2006

What if a Supreme Court Justice Retires

President Bush has already appointed two (he actually nominated three, but one was withdrawn) justices to the U.S. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. There is speculation that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire. Justice Stevens was appointed by republican President Ford but has consistently been more liberal than was expected when he was confirmed. If he does retire, then President Bush will have an opportunity to appoint a third justice to the Supreme Court. That would be one-third of the entire court and the right person might have a significant impact on social issues like the legalization of abortions and same-sex marriage.

There was a sad development overnight that could impact control of the senate and thereby the confirmation process of a Supreme Court nominee. Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota is in critical condition in George Washington University Hospital in Washington following stroke like systems and a surgery late into the night. I certainly wish Senator Johnson a speedy recovery and will pray for him and his family. But many pundits are already discussing the impact this sad event might have on the balance of power in the senate. I'm all for a republican controlled senate but not as the result of someone's death. I hope and pray that Senator Johnson gets well and returns to work.

My next novel, The Divine Appointment, has a plot line concerning the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. It would certainly be timely if there really was a confirmation battle ongoing at the time The Divine Appointment releases in June 2007.

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