Some Supreme Court Term Stats

  1. Gorsuch recently surpassed James F. Byrnes’ tenure of 452 days on the court, but has a ways to go before he catches up with John Rutledge’s 563 days (26 October 2018).
  2. Thomas will become the longest sitting justice after Kennedy retires (effective end of July 2018). To score the all-time sittingest justice (held by William Douglas) he would have to remain for another ~3600 days (20 May 2028).
  3. We can call the court “old” or “young” based on whether a majority of justices have sat longer than the median (5740 days) justice sat. The court is currently “young,” and will become slightly younger with Kennedy being replaced.
  4. Assuming no other changes to the court, it will become “old” on 20 October 2021, when Alito will have sat longer than the median.
  5. The current court has three sets of “twin justices”—justices who joined the court within about a year of one another: Ginsburg and Breyer (1993, 1994); Robert and Alito (2005, 2006); and Sotomayor and Kagan (2009, 2010). (Thomas was a twin with Souter, but the latter has left the court.)
  6. Looking at “twins” from 1950 on, the average difference between their departures is around 20 years. It’s likely either Gorsuch or Kennedy’s replacement will leave the court at least a decade before the other.
  7. Since 1950, the longest stretch without a seating was 4075 days (1994-2005). That drought was the second longest (longest was 1812-1823, 4228 days). To break the record would put the next seating sometime in 2030.

Kennedy’s replacement will likely shift the direction of the court. The new court could imperil long-standing and important matters including voting rights, women’s rights, healthcare, immigration, and even the ability of the government to fight public corruption.

But a shift in power tends to be balanced in other ways. As the court moves right (as seems likely), it will begin to face cases on new laws drafted by an increasingly liberal legislature. It will also face briefs that employ its old rulings in new ways.

In short, the Republican dream of a far-right activist court will cost them seats in Congress and will ultimately cause the people to push for legislative and constitutional remedies to any bad decisions that come forth.

Garland v. Gorsuch (per curiam)

Diehealthy.org Court of the United States

Merrick Garland v. Neil Gorsuch

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE U. S. SENATE

No. 17—110074. Decided 1 April 2017

Per Curiam.

In both Half-child v. King Solomon, -1179 U. S. 74 (c. 910 BCE), and The nameless, eternal Tao v. Lao Tzu, 16996 U. S. 497 (9349), this court held that “in matters of the eternal law, there shall always be a higher court.” Id. at 93-6.

That is the path this case takes to reach us today. It has accelerated out of the U. S. Senate, escaped the earth’s gravity well, and sped past the Van Allen Belt. We have received it and have decided.

The lower court, which is, unsurprisingly, the U. S. Senate, holds these two respected jurists in mortal combat. The body of Senate Republicans has armed thermonuclear warheads in preparation for what they intend to couch as a retaliatory strike against the body of Senate Democrats. The body of Democrats, for their part, are preparing to filibuster (Can we write such a word?! Pardon us!) the nomination of Gorsuch.

But we must go back. Prior to the Gorsuch nomination, there was another nominated for the seat upon the U. S. Supreme Court: Merrick Garland. And in that nomination… nothing happened! No meetings, no hearings, no vote! This is a tough case. We should have had lunch first.

We are reminded of an earlier case, Bender v. Bender’s Shiny Metal Ass, 542 U. S. 901 (2004), in which another body sought relief against itself. There, ruling contra to our holding in Dandy v. Fine, from the lost and found volumes (available for five proofs of purchase plus shipping and handling), we found that, “You have to love yourself first.” Bender at 904-77. Good advice, but in this case? We’re just not sure that the Senate is ready for polyamory.

Consciousness expansion? Please. We tried that back in the 60s, and what did it get us? Ronald Reagan!

Come on, think, damn it!

This is all your fault! You put them up to this!

The thing is, Ow!, the judge—Off! Get off my foot, damn it!

You started it!

I did not! You—wait! Judge off! That’s it: an old-timey judge off!

The U. S. Senate shall convene both jurors Garland and Gorsuch, and every Senator will provide exactly one exhibit to be adjudged by each (a child’s drawing, an irregular mole on their person, burnt-toast rendition of maybe-Jesus, etc.). The judgments of both will be recorded and presented against a panel of outside experts, and scores will be rendered. Upon the delivery of the average scores of each, the Senate shall vote between the two, either for one or for the other one, without knowing which judgments and scores belong to which robe.

The judgment of the U. S. Senate is vacated, and the case remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.