The forgotten election issue

A November 2 opinion piece by Bloomberg’s Noah Feldman touches on something that’s been on my mind recently: The role that the next president (and/or the one after) could play in shaping the Supreme Court is large. As Feldman’s column, “Top election issue: Supreme Court, not the economy,” points out:

…four justices are 74 or older, meaning they will be at least 78 by the end of the term. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is already 79, with Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy not far behind at 76 and Justice Stephen Breyer at 74. One hopes, of course, that they all live long lives, but the notion that all four will still be willing and able to serve the next four years is preposterous. Several will retire and be replaced — and even one replacement could fundamentally change the configuration of the court.

The fact that several justices could be replaced over the next one or two presidential terms could very well have a bigger impact on our futures than whether we have an Obama or Romney-driven economy for the next four years. But why have the campaigns and especially the media been nearly silent about this issue?

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