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February 7th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

Supreme Court Watch

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

Jami Floyd
AC360° contributor and In Session anchor

I’ve predicted quite publicly, including on national television, that President Barack Obama will make his first Supreme Court appointment within his first 100 days. But I wouldn’t have predicted one this soon. And while it is true that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is undergoing cancer treatment here in New York, has no immediate plan to retire, news of her hospitalization has sparked a flurry of speculation about who might replace her, were she to do so.

It’s all very morbid, I know, but statistics alone suggest that President Obama will name at least three justices in the coming months and years. Justice Stevens may be sharp as a tack; but he will turn 89 in April. Justices Kennedy and Scalia are both 72, and the latter has indicated that he would rather not live out his days on the Court, as has Justice Souter (he is a sprightly 69).

So there will be openings, no doubt. Whoever he appoints, President Obama will shift the dynamic of the court at a time of dynamic change in our country. These will be among the most important decisions of his presidency in a presidency that will be chock full of them.

Still, the appointments are for life, and at least for now, there is no vacancy. For her part, Justice Ginsburg has never missed a day of work due to illness since her appointment in 1993, including when she was battling colon cancer 10 years ago. I have met Justice Ginsburg. She is a tiny woman, but she is tough. And I will pray for her a speedy recovery.


Filed under: Jami Floyd • Justice Department
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Charlotte D

    Never took a sick day since her appt in 1993? Wow, what dedication. I have a good attendance record but nothing like the Justice's. I pray that Justice Ginsburg makes a full recovery and has many active and fulfilling years ahead of her. I am also sending up a thank you prayer that Obama won the election. Everytime someone made a comment about voting for McCain because Obama did not choose Hillary for his running mate, I said think of four little words that will shape our country for years and decades to come–Supreme Court Justice Nominations. And there is more on the table and to life than Roe v Wade.

    February 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  2. Luis

    The supreme court is lame. They been on vacation break for decades now. Here the priorities i would make as a U.S. Supreme Judge.

    1. Dismantle the Federal Reserve

    2. Arrest Henry "Hank" Paulson for buying up Private companies.

    3. Arrest Tim Geitner for buying up Private companies.

    4. Arrest President Obama on Treason for closing Guantanamo.

    5.Arrest All who were involved in Putting PAY CAPS on Executives.

    These politicians keep breaking the law. That's why we are in trouble.

    February 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If and when Obama will need to pick justices, what a change to have a president who taught Constitutional Law in charge of those selections. I couldn't image having someone as uneducated as McCain/Palin picking some of the most brightest and educated people to serve, it would be a total disgrace.

    February 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  4. jarrod

    if they took a 300,000,000 that would amount to $1.00

    February 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  5. Katie Korycinski

    no one... this makes me worried :/

    February 8, 2009 at 2:53 am |
  6. Diahann D

    The stimulus package SHOULD HAVE given 1 million dollars to each American citizen over 21 years of age. Our total population is alittle over 300 million including children. That is quite LESS than the BILLIONS they are giving out now! I think I can safely say that people would start buying stuff again! Stimulating the ecenomy! But what do I know?

    February 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  7. M.Jones

    As I sit here and watch the program about the economy, I notice a interesting contrast. Seven of the panelist appear to be 30 and under, the other three are either a life long government advisor or magazine editors. What do they know about trying to make ends meet. I'm not an economist but if you don't have a job, or make minimum wage, what you need is a job or to make more money, so you can be a consumer. If we don't have the money to buy goods or are afraid to spend what little money you have then we will never get the economy going. They need to spend money on the infrastructure of this country, roads, sewer systems, water systems, bridge's and any hard dollar project that will give Americans real jobs. Then loan money to people who can pay it back, at a fair interest rate. Regulate banks, insurance company so they won't get to greedy again

    February 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  8. jarrod

    why are we allowing these political figures to continue to keep their jobs with such illnesses that do not allow them to maintain there post this country should be ran like a business instead we are paying salaries to ill people that aren't able to complete their jobs Ted kennedy, dick cheney and many more

    February 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  9. Paula Vergara, Boston, MA

    Is it just me, or have all of the stars come into alignment since Barack Obama became president? Yes, he's hit a few snags, but overall, he's right on track.

    It is sad to see Justice Ginsburg suffering from cancer, especially pancreatic cancer–a battle that isn't easily (or frequently) won. But, the timing of her illness seems to be more than just coincidental.

    In addition, the phrase "change can happen" isn't just a presidential mantra anymore. It appears that change is just happening (some good, some not so good), but even the bad stuff is good – sniffing out the "billion-dollar bad guys" and bringing them to justice is never a bad thing. It gives the country a sense of pride in our government, and sends a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated.

    All changes that began when President Obama was elected seem to be giving little hints that this country is on it's way back to where it needs to be (however slowly). The laws of nature seem to be working in Obama's favor, and ours as well.

    I wish Justice Ginsburg the best, and of course, a full recovery.

    February 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  10. Linda Strasberg

    Get well soon. I will pray for her speedy recovery

    February 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  11. Lucretia Elliott

    Hi Anderson. I just want to tell you that I enjoy your show, and I truly respect the fact that you keep everything fair and balanced... That is the true definition of a great reporter. You are doing a fabulous job!!

    Sincerely,
    Lucretia

    February 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |