One reason why this presidential election counts so much

This question is made all the more urgent by the fact that on Jan. 20, 2009, six of the nine current justices will be over the age of 70--an age at which many people either retire or begin to wind down their affairs. There is thus a very real possibility that the next president could appoint as many as four justices in his first term alone. We may be getting ready for the biggest turnover in the membership of the Supreme Court since Richard Nixon's election in 1968 brought the Warren Court to an end.. . . .

It seems difficult to believe that John Paul Stevens won't retire within the next five years. He is already in his late 80s and one of the longest serving justices ever. Three replacements would be a likely outcome and thus a huge role in shaping the court for decades to come.



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