What Happens to the Supreme Court if Obama Gets Re-Elected?

There’s a lot at stake in this year’s election. I suspect that most people reading this column do not believe we have the ideal candidate. We don’t. Many are hoping against hope that Ron Paul is going to secure the nomination at the Republican convention since delegates are not legally committed to any particular candidate. That will go over big.

As a result of much dissatisfaction, many otherwise activist conservatives and libertarians will stay home this November. I can understand the sentiment. “Frustrated” is my middle name. With what I’m seeing in state-wide races, the Tea Party is alive and well. So-called moderates are scared. The defeat of long-time senator Richard Lugar has sent shock waves through the Republican Party.

There are some good men and women running for congress this year. If we get enough of them into office, any moderation in Mitt Romney’s policy advocacy, if he wins, could be kept in check. But there is a longer term issue to consider. Columnist Andrew C. McCarthy, writing in National Review Online, gives us what probably is the most important question regarding the upcoming presidential election:

[I]f Mitt wins the nomination, as seems very likely, I will enthusiastically support his candidacy.

For my friends who have hesitation on that score, I’d just ask you to keep four things in mind: Justice Scalia just turned 78, Justice Kennedy will turn 78 later this year, Justice Breyer will be 76 in August, and Justice Ginsburg turned 81 [March 15th]. We wish them all well, of course, but the brute fact is that whoever we elect as president in November is almost certainly going to choose at least one and maybe more new members of the Supreme Court — in addition to hundreds of other life-tenured federal judges, all of whom will be making momentous decisions about our lives for decades to come. If you don’t think it matters whether the guy making those calls is Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, I think you’re smokin’ something funky.

So for anybody who is thinking of not voting because your favorite didn’t get nominated, or writing in a candidate who can’t win. . . . Imagine this: Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton.