Democrats Grapple with the Aging Issue: Will Older Liberal Justices Retire to Secure the Court’s Future?

With only three liberal justices out of nine currently serving on the Supreme Court, Democrats face a significant challenge. The age of these liberal justices is a growing concern for Democrats, as it could potentially tip the court’s balance in favor of conservatives. 

Republican Appointees

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Orhan Cam

The Supreme Court is predominantly influenced by justices appointed by Republican presidents, with six of the nine seats held by GOP appointees.

Aging Justices

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Consolidated News Photos

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, while in excellent health, are not immune to the risks associated with aging. While many Democrats worry about President Joe Biden’s age, the focus is shifting to the age of the liberal justices.

A Conservative Court

Image Credit: Shutterstock / 4kclips

The current minority of liberal justices faces the challenge of a conservative-leaning court. Even if one conservative justice is absent, the conservative wing can still pass decisions with a 5-4 majority.

Roe vs. Wade

Image Credit: Shutterstock / stock_photo_world

This was evident in the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, where three of the most conservative justices, appointed by President Donald Trump, played a crucial role.

Unexpected Vacancy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / sirtravelalot

The prospect of an unexpected vacancy due to the retirement or death of a liberal justice during a Republican presidency or Senate control would be detrimental for Democrats.

The Risks at Play

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

A 6-3 court already poses challenges to liberal policies, but a 7-2 court would extend this disadvantage for generations.

Some conservative justices have indicated a willingness to revisit issues like interracial and same-sex marriage, which adds to the uncertainty.

An Estimation

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

We can use actuarial data to estimate the risk, though it may not be perfect. Among three hypothetical liberal justices aged 69, 63, and 52, there is a 14 percent chance that at least one may pass away during the next president’s term, ending in January 2029.

An Estimation

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

 While this risk of death is not exceptionally high, it prompts the question of what level of risk Democrats find acceptable in potentially losing the Supreme Court for an extended period.

A Possible Solution

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

To lower this risk, Democrats could encourage older justices to retire and refrain from overly idealizing aging justices. 

Finding Replacements

Image Credit: Shutterstock / OogImages

President Biden, with a Democratic Senate, has an opportunity to nominate younger justices who can serve for an extended period.

Replacing aging justices with younger counterparts could reduce the risk significantly, down to 8 percent or even 5 percent, depending on the replacements.

Who Will Retire?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

The decision of whether to retire ultimately lies with the justices themselves.

Justices Sotomayor and Kagan seem to be in excellent physical condition. Yet, the political landscape and the need for long-term balance in the court are important factors to consider.

Public Response

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

In response to the Democrat’s new fear of aging Justices, many view aging government officials and the risks they place on Americans as a more significant issue throughout the political system.

Destroying America

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

One person commented, “Age is neither the Democratic or Republican parties’ biggest problem – it is corruption and ignorance that are decaying the parties from within, thus outwardly destroying America.”

The post Democrats Grapple with the Aging Issue: Will Older Liberal Justices Retire to Secure the Court’s Future? first appeared on Back Edge News.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drop of Light. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

+ posts

Leave a Comment