The 2024 presidential election is going to be an important one for many reasons.
There are major issues at stake such as the weaponization of the government; the overall economy as well as inflation; government spending, especially to broaden the reach of agencies such as the IRS; and out-of-control illegal immigration that shows no end in sight.
Yet, there’s another major reason why 2024 could be so pivotal: There’s a chance that the next president will be able to nominate two people to the Supreme Court.
Such an opportunity would be huge for any president, but it’ll prove especially so for the next president, as both potential nominations would likely be replacements for conservative justices.
It’s very possible that Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas could decide to retire during the next president’s term. Alito is 73 years old, while Thomas is 75.
This potential situation has Democrats very worried about what might happen should Donald Trump or another Republican candidate win the White House while the GOP retakes the Senate majority.
If that were to happen, the Republican president with the Republican majority Senate would have an opportunity to replace two elder statesmen with much younger conservative justices who would be able to put their mark on the Supreme Court for years to come.
If the situation pans out the opposite way – with President Joe Biden winning re-election and Democrats hanging onto the majority in the Senate – they could effectively replace two conservative justices with two much younger liberal ones.
Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan – who is retiring at the end of 2024 – put the 2024 presidential election in simple terms recently when she said:
“It’s critical. President Biden, who I feel confident will be re-elected, needs to be able to put more judges on the bench, federal judges, including the Supreme Court. It is absolutely critical that the Senate remain in Democratic hands.”
If the GOP were able to win the White House and Senate and replace Alito and Thomas with younger conservatives, Stubenow said “it would be devastating for anyone who cares about privacy and their own personal freedom.”
Her comments were a reference to the Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision last summer and removing the constitutional protection for abortions.
Republicans also very clearly see how important the 2024 presidential election is in terms of the Supreme Court as well. GOP Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said recently:
“Probably the next president will have a chance to appoint another member of the court. I expect that you’d see, over the course between now and the end of the next [presidential] terms, probably another retirement or two.”
He added that the GOP would have a chance to create an “enduring majority” on the high court by naming two younger conservative justices. Hawley also added, though, that the opinions of the justices can change over the years, saying:
“Republicans have had the majority of Supreme Court appointments for decades now and have not succeeded in getting a stable conservative majority on that court until very recently. Does the next election matter for the court? I think it really does. I don’t know how much of a [conservative] majority it is. I don’t know how stable it is.”