Seen to Be Done1 February 2020
I present this table
|Justices of the US Supreme Court in November of 1952|
|Hugo Lafayette Black||Roosevelt (D)||Democrat||27 Feb 1886||18 Aug 1937|
|Stanley Forman Reed||Roosevelt (D)||Democrat||31 Dec 1884||27 Jan 1938|
|Felix Frankfurter||Roosevelt (D)||Democrat||15 Nov 1882||20 Jan 1939|
|William Orville Douglas||Roosevelt (D)||Democrat||16 Oct 1886||17 Apr 1939|
|Robert Houghwout Jackson||Roosevelt (D)||Democrat||13 Feb 1892||11 Jul 1941|
|Harold Hitz Burton||Truman (D)||Republican||22 Jun 1888||22 Sep 1945|
|Frederick Moore Vinson||Truman (D)||Democrat||22 Jan 1890||21 Jun 1946|
|Thomas Campbell Clark||Truman (D)||Democrat||23 Sept 1889||19 Aug 1949|
|Sherman Minton||Truman (D)||Democrat||20 Oct 1890||5 Oct 1949|
in advance of polemic that I anticipate over the next five or more years.
The Presidential candidates who might plausibly receive the nomination of the Democratic Party are such that, in the absence of a financial crisis, President Trump is very likely to be reëlected. He has, so far, been able to select two appointees to the US Supreme Court.
Four of the nine Justices now serving are appointees of Democratic Presidents. One of these, Justice Ginsburg, will be 87 years old in March, and has had repeated bouts with cancer. Another, Breyer, will be 82 years old in August; it is very likely that he will leave the Court before 2024. A third, Sotomayor, is in her mid-sixties, but suffers from type 1 diabetes. Whoever is elected to the Presidency in 2020 will surely replace between one and three of these Justices. There may be only one Justice from the Democratic Party in 2024.
Which is why I point to the Court in 1952. It had no Justices other than those appointed by Democratic Presidents, and only one Justice who, prior to appointment, had not been affiliated with the Democratic Party. The Republican Party won the Presidency and a majority in each chamber of Congress. But, if there were any argument that it would be right and proper to increase the number of Justices on the US Supreme Court in order to reëstablish a majority of Republican appointees or somesuch, that argument sank without a trace.
Tags: Supreme Court