Anybody know what the longest, at least in modern history (20th century) the Supreme Court has gone with one or more vacancies and an even number of justices? There are a number of cases pending, and a year until a new president, plus confirmation hearings, would be a very long time to potentially have a deadlocked court. There’s no GOOD answer, except maybe one more is lost in the near future (Ginsburg, Sotomayor, or Kagan would work fine for me). But I agree – leave it unfilled rather than stack the court potentially for years to come with an Obama appointee in his lame duck year.
Then again,with a deadlocked court for Obama’s last year of office, he could try something exceptionally bizarre and there’d be no Supreme Court available to conclusively undo it. Congress would never get through an impeachment proceeding. Hmmmm…. Come to think of it, the potential scenarios could get mighty scary over the next 342 days.