41 Senators Means the GOP Can Filibuster a SCOTUS Nominee till Midterm Elections

January 19th, 2010

Yes, everyone is talking about the GOP’s ability to filibuster health care. But on this blog, I care about SCOTUS.

If a Justice retires in June, as is custom, the GOP can filibuster, and hold up, the nomination until after the November mid-term elections.

I wonder if this will affect Justice Stevens’s decision to retire… Stay tuned.

Update: Lyle Denniston made a similar point over at SCOTUSBlog:

A change in party membership of a single seat in the Senate may not seem like a seismic change in a legislative chamber still numerically dominated by the President’s Democratic allies.  But the political atmosphere in the chamber may well change markedly, with the Democrats — and the President — having to tack toward the center, or even rightward, if anything is to get done.  And that could strongly influence the choice of a successor for Justice John Paul Stevens, should he retire this summer, as is widely expected.