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With The Presidential Election Looming, A Closer Look At The US Supreme Court

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The US Supreme Court. Photo credit: Yellow3467 via Wikimedia Commons

With election day just over a month away, Republicans are pushing to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Stetson University College of Law professor Louis Virelli joins Intersection to discuss the implications of a Supreme Court with just eight justices, the nomination process, and the notion of expanding the court.

If a new justice were not confirmed before the presidential election, would eight justices be enough to rule on a case involving the election?

“I think the short answer is, it would not, it would not be enough to meet people’s expectations,” said Virelli.

He said a case involving the election where the justices were to tie four- four “would mean that whatever the lower court decided, would be the rule of the case would be the law of the case.”

“That’s problematic, because it would effectively mean that a regional court would be resolving a national election, as opposed to the highest court in the land,” said Virelli.

“There are, of course, problems with a court deciding an election in any circumstances. But it becomes even more problematic when that court is not the highest court.”

Listen to the full conversation using the audio player at the top of the page.  

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »