For weeks, commentators have speculated that significant numbers of conservatives, alienated by over-spending, the Iraq War, and other perceived GOP disappointments, will stay home on Election Day, giving one or both Houses of Congress to Democrats. But for those who care about reforming the Supreme Court, sitting this one out may soon look like a mistake of historic proportions.
For the past several weeks, there has been a rumor circulating among high-level officials in Washington, D.C., that a member of the U.S. Supreme Court has received grave medical news and will announce his or her retirement by year’s end. While such rumors are not unusual in the nation’s capital, this one comes from credible sources. Additionally, a less credible but still noteworthy post last week at the liberal Democratic Underground blog says, “Send your good vibes to Justice Stevens. I just got off the phone with a friend of his family and right now he is very ill and at 86 years old that is not good.”
This week in Indiana, Montana, and Nevada, President Bush raised judges as a key reason to elect Republicans to the Senate. By all accounts, it has been and continues to be a favorite applause line among Republican crowds. Judicial confirmations were key to tight Senate races in 2002 and 2004. Conservatives should not forget the issue this Election Day, when the victory of a generation may be at last within their grasp.
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