How Supreme Court Could Be Radically Changed After 2024 Election

how supreme court could be radically changed after 2024 election

United States Supreme Court (front row L-R) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (back row L-R) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson pose for their official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building on October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC.

The results of the 2024 elections will not only decide who will be in the White House and control of Congress next year but potentially how the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will operate for years to come.

Voters in November not only will be choosing who will be president but will determine if the Democrats can hold onto the Senate, and if the Republicans improve on their narrow majority in the House of Representatives.

The elections will also have an added subplot of whether the current conservative-majority Supreme Court bench could drastically change starting next year, especially if the Democrats manage to achieve a trifecta government by controlling the White House, the Senate and the House.

Supreme Court justices serve lifetime appointments on the bench, meaning they only leave the role if they resign, retire are removed from office or die. The current Supreme Court bench includes three justices nominated by President Donald Trump during his time in office: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.

The impact of having one-third of Trump's appointments on the SCOTUS bench was arguably evident in June 2022 when the nation's highest court voted to overturn the historic abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, effectively ending the constitutional right to have the procedure.

President Joe Biden has nominated only Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the nation's highest court during his three years in the White House. She became the first Black female SCOTUS justice when she replaced the retired Stephen Breyer in September 2022.

Harry Sisson, who is part of a Biden administration initiative to promote the president's 2024 campaign on social media, previously suggested that the age of conservative SCOTUS justices Clarence Thomas (75) and Samuel Alito (74) should give voters an incentive to want Biden to win a second term.

"Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are great reasons to vote for President Biden in 2024," Sisson posted on X, formerly Twitter, in March.

"They are some of the oldest Justices on the bench and if they step down, Biden gets to appoint their replacements. It's time for a liberal Supreme Court."

However, Eric J. Segall, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law, and author of Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court is not a Court and its Justices are not Judges, suggested it is "extremely unlikely" Alito or Thomas would resign with a Democrat in the White House

"Unless they die, they stay on," Segall told Newsweek. "Justice John Paul Stevens served till 90, so they could easily serve 10 more years."

Instead, Segall suggested the bigger issue will be if the GOP manage to retake control of the Senate in November.

"It doesn't matter, apparently, if there's a Democrat president unless the Democrats control the Senate," he said. "I don't know if the Republican-controlled Senate is ever going to confirm a Democrat Supreme Court nominee again. I really don't. And that's a terrible state of affairs."

Elsewhere, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested House Democrats could launch an investigation into Alito over flags reportedly flown at his homes if they win back control of the lower chamber—a potential step to force his removal from the bench—while also urging the Democrat-controlled Senate to act now.

Last week, The New York Times reported that an upside-down flag was raised at Alito's home in Virginia just days after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. The inverted flag has become associated with Trump's false claim that the 2020 election was "stolen" from the Republican due to widespread voter fraud.

Alito claimed that the flag was put up by his wife during a dispute with their neighbors over an anti-Trump sign on their lawn.

A second flag with ties to Christian nationalism, which was seen being waved at the January 6 riot, was also reportedly flown at another of Alito's properties in New Jersey in 2022.

Alito has faced calls to recuse himself from the numerous January 6-related Supreme Court cases, including the presidential immunity defense argument from Trump to dismiss his federal 2020 election obstruction charges.

Newsweek contacted the Supreme Court's press office for comment via email.

"Samuel Alito has identified himself with the same people who raided the Capitol on January 6 and is now going to be presiding over court cases that have deep implications over the participants of that rally. And while this is the threat to our democracy, Democrats have a responsibility for defending our democracy," Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes.

"And in the Senate, we have gavels. There should be subpoenas going out. There should be active investigations that are happening. And I believe that, when House Democrats take the majority, we are preparing and ensuring to support the broader effort to stand up for our democracy."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin recently dismissed calls for an investigation into Alito over the upside-down flag controversy.

"No, we haven't got anything planned. I think he's explained his situation. The American public understands what he did," Durbin told reporters on Monday. "But I don't think there's much to be gained with a hearing at this point. I think he should recuse himself from cases involving Trump and his administration."

Durbin added that if Alito refuses to recuse himself, then "there's no recourse other than impeachment, and we're not at that point at all."

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