(YORK, PA.) - Does Senator John McCain know something that Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn't know?
Asked today if he would push a conservative agenda as president, McCain said he would, and promised to nominate Supreme Court judges like Samuel Alito and John Roberts to hold the judicial branch's highest honor. But then he said something that made my ears perk up.
"There's going to be two, maybe three vacancies on the Supreme Court, according to people that decide these things. People that pay close attention."
Whoa, wait a second.
Supreme Court judges hold appointed for life positions, so in order for a vacancy to open up, one must retire – like Sandra Day O'Connor – or, plainly, kick the bucket. Right?
So who are the three McCain is referring to? And who, besides the man upstairs, is the one to "decide"?
Well, if it's got to be someone, let's look at the stats.
John Paul Stevens in 88 years old – is he waiting until 90 to retire?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75, and both Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia are 72 – well into their Social Security – ahem -- "golden" years.
David Souter is 68 and Stephen Breyer is 69, and for a long time was the junior justice – and holds the second longest record for holding that title. Remember Oliver, that new kid that showed up in the final season of The Brady Bunch? Stephen Breyer is kind of like Oliver. Came in years after everybody else, had to answer the door during conferences, but still part of the family.
And Clarence Thomas, at 60, is the youngest of the old regime.
Then there are the George W. Bush appointees – or "Supremed by the Court: The New Class" as I like to refer to them: Alito and Roberts, who is chief justice. Straight to the head of the class, Roberts! Surely McCain isn't referring to them – those are exactly the type of judges he wants to multiply like mogwais. "Strict constructionist judges" who "interpret the Constitution" and don't "legislate from the bench," which means that there are liberal leaning judges who do just the opposite. But that's a whole other story.
So in the next four to eight years, someone is going to bite the big one or move to Boca Raton, according to McCain. Shouldn't we do something and warn everyone? Shouldn't we call somebody? Of course we should.
Call Vegas to see if the betting has started.