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Should a retired justice have a vote?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) is considering legislation that would allow a retired member of the Supreme Court to replace a justice who has recused himself -- or herself -- in a particular case. This would avoid the court potentially splitting 4 to 4 on a case and, Leahy hopes, encourage justices to recuse themselves more often when there is an appearance of partiality. What do you think? Should a retired Supreme Court justice have a vote in this situation?

By Andrea Caumont  |  August 9, 2010; 7:08 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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My concern is how the "replacement" would be chosen. We have horrid partisanship in the current selection process and that would continue every time a justice recused his or her self.

Posted by: pjohn2 | August 9, 2010 8:28 AM

Only if the Justice recusing him or herself got to choose the replacement.

Posted by: DavidTR | August 9, 2010 10:40 AM

Given that Leahy is suggesting this I have to believe there's an obvious political agenda. Sad but probably true!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | August 9, 2010 12:18 PM

That is such a dumb idea for so many reasons. First of all, when a judge retires for whatever reason, that's it, they are no longer a judge. Perhaps if a retired judge is reconfirmed, but a retired judge is more than likely non compos mentis, or at least something's amiss for them to have retired. Better to have a recused pairing in order to keep things uneven. Better still to call a mistrial or something and require the case to be reargued in the next session.

Leahy is an idiot. Who in the heck votes guys like this into office?

Posted by: therube | August 9, 2010 12:42 PM

Is Leahy up for reelection?
He is either with too much time on his hands or he is trying to show his state that he is still active in an old man's body.
BTW, the Constitution does not even require 9 members for the Court.

Posted by: familynet | August 9, 2010 2:36 PM

this is how the dems gain control of the court...
before you know it there will be 12 justices and obama will appoint them...

Posted by: DwightCollins | August 10, 2010 4:43 AM

More opportunity for crappy politics. The SC is political enough as it is. Let the 4-4 votes stand.

Posted by: hz9604 | August 10, 2010 6:21 AM

I don't get it. I am looking forward to retirement. That means I'm not going to my job anymore! I'm taking off! I'm outta here! These people retired for some reason, old age, bad health, wish to finally relax after a full career. Most of those reasons would make me suspect as to their competence. I doubt if my company will ask me back for a couple days now and then . If they did, I'll refuse. I'm at the beach! Don't bother me!

Posted by: schaeffz | August 10, 2010 8:51 AM

I'm with PJohn2 at the top. It sounds like an interesting idea, but which justice? Is it on a rotating basis?

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | August 10, 2010 11:15 AM

I would say that, if the idea is taken, the most recently retired Justice is selected for the position and that, if that justice declines (for whatever reason), the next most recently retired Justice fills the vacancy.

Whether or not one considers the Supreme Court to be political or not, the purpose of the Court is to decide, not to reach a tie.

Posted by: Dungarees | August 10, 2010 11:44 AM

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