Dreaming for a moment
With Scalia dead, the "conservative" pundits are already pumping out advice and orders to the Senate.
Pointless. Telling the Senate to do the right thing is like telling a cat to stay off the bed. Wasted words. You have to get physical. Keep the cat out of the bedroom entirely. BORDERS. WALLS.
We know what will happen. Drably predictable. Obama will appoint a Trans Thing. He will give a masterful speech citing Lincoln, MLK Boulevard, Living Saint John L. Lewis, Rosa Parks, and My Son Trayvon. The Senators will weep and wilt as "strong men" are supposed to.
(Or more accurately, as totally blackmailed and corrupted men do.) Obama will plead that Trans Things have been wildly underrepresented for thousands of years. Long past time to correct this massive injustice.
A little REAL SCIENCE would knock out that argument. A group that CANNOT PHYSICALLY EXIST doesn't need to be represented. But that won't matter. Blackmail will win. The Supremes will then consist of three lesbians, one secret fairy, four weak blackmailed eunuchs, and one Trans Thing. Looks like America. Looks like DC anyway.
Dreaming here: This would be a good opportunity to redo the system. Eliminate all the appellate courts and turn the Supreme into a normal JURY-BASED court instead of a LEGISLATURE. When a fed district judge felt that a case needed further examination, she would send it to the supreme. A jury would be called for this case, randomly from the entire nation, using existing local jury-pool mechanisms. The jury would be paid lavishly and housed luxuriously for a week,
under tight security. No selection by lawyers; just competent adult citizens with a record of recent voting. Jurors would get three days to hear the facts and one day to decide. Decision is final.
Just as the existing jury system MAINLY works by forcing defendants to plead guilty, this jury system would MAINLY cause federal district judges to clean up their act and decide sanely in the first place. District judges would learn QUICKLY that a jury of competent adults (who aren't hopelessly deformed and corrupted by law degrees) has no patience for lunacy. Judges would be extremely hesitant to send a case up to the Supreme Sanity.
= = = = =
Later, noticed a problem. The district judge shouldn't make the decision to send. Instead, cases should be separated into obvious categories. Most of the action in fed court is pretty much the same as a county court. Straightforward crimes. The only difference is the location or size. Fed handles crimes on fed property or Injun land, or major organized crimes. These cases would NOT get sent up. They're final, whether decided by jury or plea or judge. The only cases that should be sent up are lawsuits attempting to legislate.
Suits by ACLU or NARAL or NAACP or Tides Foundation or EPA proxies. ALL of those cases need to be sent up for recheck (=reject). Ideally the lawyers and organizations who bring such suits need to be shot, but that would get messy.