Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Supreme Court Vacancy?

Maybe we're jumping the gun here, but since we're working on the Judicial Branch, I thought this would make for a good next topic for our blog post. The link above is to an audio file, an interview on National Public Radio with Jeffrey Toobin, a Supreme Court expert and the author of The Nine, excerpts of which you read in class recently. Toobin recently did a profile of Justice Stevens, the most senior member of the Court and the justice whom many believe will be the next to retire, perhaps as soon as this spring. The interview is about half-an-hour long, so I don't necessarily expect to you to sit and listen to the whole thing, but much of what is discussed connects very well to what we've talked about in class, and at least you should pick out several minutes worth of the interview (beginning, middle, or end) to listen to.


The above link takes you to an article from February of this year, predicting whom President Obama might nominate to replace Justice Stevens if he does in fact retire. In the very first paragraph, where it talks about "media reports" and "blog posts," these are actually links to other articles. First and foremost please read the article, but I'd also encourage you to click on the "media reports" link, as there is a good 3-minute video which also looks at possible picks for an as-yet-nonexistent Supreme Court vacancy.

Based on your reading of the above article, your listening to the Toobin NPR interview, and/or your watching of that short video, please address the following questions:
  • What stood out to you from these resources? What struck you the most when it came to Justice Stevens himself or what his possible retirement might mean for the Supreme Court?
  • Do you think Justice Stevens will retire this year? What about Justice Ginsburg? Why/why not? Any thoughts on whom President Obama might select to replace them?
  • Any other thoughts about the radio interview, the article, or the video?

Remember, each of you should make TWO (2) separate comments, preferably one about the interview or article itself, and another which responds to something posted by a classmate. Please try to have this second comment be something more than simply, "I agree/disagree with ___________." If possible, talk a little more about your own opinions/reactions and WHY you agree or disagree.

Remember also, please post your comments as part of the comment thread with this particular post; just "add a comment" and don't "publish a new post."

These two comments are due the same day as our Judicial Branch quiz, the last day before we go on Spring Break: Thursday, April 1st.