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The age of the U.S. Supreme Court – who will retire?

John @ Americablog posted the current SCOTUS bench, noting only two were nominated by a Dem:

John Paul Stevens, 88 (Ford)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75 (Clinton)

Antonin Scalia, 72 (Reagan)

Anthony Kennedy, 72 (Reagan)

Stephen Breyer, 70 (Clinton)

David Souter, 69 (GHW Bush)

Clarence Thomas, 60 (GHW Bush)

Samuel Alito, 58 (GW Bush)

John Roberts, 53 (GW Bush)

The Bushes added relative youngsters on the bench, all save Souter are firmly on the conservative side of the spectrum. The core liberals Ginsburg and Stevens (poor man — at 88 he must have prayed nightly for a Dem president) are likely to step down during Obama’s term, so there won’t be any gains for progressives there. I haven’t heard anything about fellow liberal Breyer regarding retirement.

Scalia is so too evil to kick it or retire any time soon, so the sure pickup possibility to sway the court to the left is if Kennedy retires. Of course even keeping the status quo politically is preferable to what would have become of the court had McCain set up shop in the White House. The professional “Christian” set probably had a list of mandatory first choice candidates for the failed GOP contender for SCOTUS.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding