SUPREME COURT RUMOR MILL

Newsday has all sorts of delightful speculation about vacancies on the Supreme Court, including the oft-repeated rumors that Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will step down at the end of this term, with a slight chance that the 83-year-old John Paul Stevens will join them. While Antonin “Anthony” Scalia is the obvious choice for elevation to Chief Justice, the fact that he is 67 makes Clarence Thomas, 54, a more likely candidate from among the Associates. How delicious would that be?

Oddly, the reporters here totally ignore the current filibuster issue that is plaguing Bush appointments to the Courts of Appeals. One would think a filibuster of Thomas would be a near certainly in today’s environment. The idea that Bush will be able to simply nominate well qualified but ideologically conservative justices seems rather quaint.

Update (12:08): Matthew Langer notes that Rehnquist already has his own bobblehead. Why would he stay? That’s pretty much the capstone of anyone’s career.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.