Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


The Battle for the Courts: Three Supreme Court Justices May Retire, and Hearings for Federal Judge Nominee William Pryor Begin Tomorrow

StoryJune 10, 2003
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice and James Swanson of the Cato Institute square off.

The battle for the Supreme Court has begun. Intense lobbying — including fund-raising, advertising and major research — is well underway. One vacancy and possibly two is expected in the next several weeks.

None of the nine justices have said they plan to retire now, but analysts say the time is right.

Their expectations are based on the age of several justices and the general recognition that this is President Bush’s last chance to name a justice before the presidential campaign begins.

The three oldest judges on the Supreme Court are 78-year-old Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 73-year-old Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and 83-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens. All three are Republican.

Abortion rights activists assert that Roe v. Wade could be overturned by a substantially refashioned court. Roe v. Wade is the 1973 decision recognizing that women have a constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.

The idea is that if justices are going to retire, they should do it in the next month or plan to hold on until after the 2004 elections, essentially committing themselves to two more court terms.

White House officials told the New York Times that Rehnquist and O’Connor are the likeliest to retire given the knowledge that a Republican President would choose their successor.

In December 2000, Newsweek reported that at an election-night party, when O’Connor heard the media reported Florida had gone to Al Gore, she exclaimed, ``This is terrible,’’ and walked away. Her husband John then explained that she was upset because they had wanted to retire to Arizona, but had been waiting so that a Republican president could name a successor.

  • Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice.
  • James Swanson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and editor of the Cato Supreme Court Review.


Alliance for Justice

Cato Instiute

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation