Rumor mill working overtime about Chief Justice Roberts

Here’s the update from Above the Law:


“A second Georgetown Law student confirms this account:

Our criminal justice professor started our 9 am lecture with the news that roberts will be resigning tomorow for health reasons — that he could not handle the administrative burdens of the job. He would not say how he knows — but halfway through our lecture on the credibility and reliability of informants he revealed that the Roberts rumor was made up to show how someone you ordinarily think is credible and reliable (ie a law professor) can disseminate inaccurate information.

By then the horse was out of the barn — and running at a gallop:

[B]etween the hour when the class began and when he revealed that he made it up, plenty of students txted and IM’ed their friends and family…. [So] there’s a very good chance that the Roberts rumor that spread like wildfire on the internet was sparked by an eccentric law professor trying to make a point.”

Link, warning this uses explicit language:

—–My take on the weird news this morning—–

One of my newly found Supreme Court blogs, First One @ One First, posted a RadarOnline story about CJ Roberts perhaps stepping down.  My initial reaction was one of shock being that he’s so young and regardless of how you feel about him on the issues, one of the sharpest jurists in the country.  The HuffingtonPost has hypothesized that it could be for health reasons, which would make the most sense of any reason.

Either way, should this turn out to be true, add another daunting task to Obama’s already full plate.  He’ll have 2 decisions to make – who should be the next chief justice and who will replace Roberts?  It could be the same person, but doesn’t have to be.  In addition, this would add drama and pressure to an already turbulent time in Washington.  I can imagine the halls of the Capitol are buzzing at the prospect.  Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see but it’s interesting nonetheless.

With Justice Stevens turning 90 in April and perhaps retiring this June (he’s only hired 1 clerk according to some websites), Obama could end up with 2 more nominations in the first half of 2010.  Suddenly conservatives who monitor the court and have enjoyed a Kennedy-based majority lately would be worried about a major swing in the court’s preferences.  It makes for classic Washington drama.


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