but were too bored to ask.
We don’t “need” nine Justices on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution established the Supreme Court but left it to Congress to decide how many justices should make up the court. It’s an arbitrary figure that changes with the political tides. If the current court remains at eight, a deadlock means whatever the lower court decision was stands.
Despite all the ballyhoo from the Conservatives about “Constitutional Purists” there is no official requirement ideological or otherwise, for a Supreme Court Justice beyond what the Constitution spells out for age, citizenship and residency requirements. A Justice does not have to be a lawyer or a law school graduate, but all Justices have been trained in the law. The last Justice to be appointed who did not attend any law school was James F. Byrnes (1941-1942). He did not graduate from high school and taught himself law, passing the bar at the age of 23.
The last time that a Republican majority Senate confirmed the Supreme Court nomination from a Democratic President was December, 1895. Let that sink in for a second. Over 120 years ago. That’s how long the GOP has been suborning the democratic process on “advise and consent”. So, it should come as no shock that Republicans would go to the tried and true methods that have stood them good stead for over a century. What should be a shock to Democrats is that they have permitted it to go on unopposed. If ever they should have made a stand on principle, it was to conduct no other business until Congress did their Constitutional duty. This is where we always were and still are now: Republicans will not confirm any Democratic nominee, while Democrats agonize over norms, tactics and appearances of whether to filibuster or not, the battle is already lost. So, Senate Democrats; why are you still fretting over what to do?