The composition of the United States Supreme Court is a major political issue over which the U.S. president has significant control. Yet during the first two presidential debates we heard exactly nothing from either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney about how they would each go about filling a future vacancy on the High Court. And it’s not like this is an academic question. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a 79-year-old who recently underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer, while both Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Anthony Kennedy have reached the none-too-spry age of 76. Any one of these three justices could conceivably retire in the next four years.
So in the spirit of democracy, I humbly submit this question about the Supreme Court for use in tonight’s debate free of charge:
In his recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
Do you agree with this statement? If not, please explain when you believe it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to nullify a duly-enacted law.