Unlike Canada, where Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada face mandatory retirement at age 75, thus giving the Prime Minister, (barring the unforeseen) an orderly schedule for the making of future appointments, US Supreme Court jurists serve for life, so its a bit of a crap shoot as to whether a sitting president will even have a chance to make an appointment and thus put his personal stamp upon the court.
President Trump, in making the controversial Brent Kavanaugh appointment has shown an unseemly fixation with pushing the ideological composition of the court to the right. Those of us who watched, with anger and disappointment, the embarrassing charade of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing could but seek faint comfort in the hope that Trump would not get another chance to stack the court with his cronies.
But today comes word that the venerable RBG- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, at age 85 the oldest member of the US Supreme Court, and the darling of liberals everywhere, has been seriously injured in a fall in her office- fracturing 3 ribs.
In the short term, one has to be concerned about the loss of her voice of reason while the court deliberates upon the cases it is scheduled to hear this fall and winter, but more importantly, one has to ask- will she be able to continue, or will her health and age force her to resign?
A resignation would hand Trump another opportunity to propose a hard right wing candidate for the vacancy, a move likely to ignite open partisan warfare in the House Judiciary Committee, now controlled by the Democrats. Such a battle might succeed in blocking another Trump appointment from being confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, but could also damage the Democrats in the court of public opinion- and for so long as the Ginsberg seat remained vacant – the conservatives control the court.