Yes, this is sort of another post about the stupid election (see Zembla for a truly entertaining and original election post), but it's really about law-geekiness. After a fashion, anyway.
Okay, so Rehnquist is almost certainly going to retire in the next four years, and Old Man Stevens is probably on his way out as well. O'Connor may reture as well, if she doesn't get promoted to Chief Justice. That means Our Leader may have up to three Supreme Court appointments, a prospect which no doubt strikes fear into the hearts of many an American. But, there is good news on this front. Amiable arch-conservative Orrin Hatch is leaving the post of Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, and likely being replaced by moderate Republican Arlen Specter. Specter is reviled by the more mouth-breathing conservatives among us, apparently because he doesn't hate gays and Mexicans enough.
Specter has already drawn a line in the sand, in a way, in the area of Supreme Court nominations. Specifically, the Ghost of Supreme Court Future had this to say:
"When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely."
I've been predicting that Bush would find the most conservative minorities he could fined (a la Miguel Estrada) and try to force their appointments, but now it looks like he may have to relent. If he can't even get his maniac judges through the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee, he won't be able to blame Democratic filibustering when his nominees don't make it through.
Another Specter quote that should appeal to the law geeks out there:
"I would look for justices who would interpret the Constitution, as Cardozo has said, reflecting the values of the people."
Slam! That's exactly the kind of statement that makes Scalia cringe. We may end up with three more O'Connors, in which case the Court would be decidedly non-ideological and almost completely unpredictable.
In any case, I'm tired of waiting. Let's see some retirements, you bastards, so we can get out with our pie-eating contests.