Ed Whelan has a helpful overview.Whelna’s opening lines indicate why this is an important issue:

Justice John Paul Stevens turns 88 in April, and by January 2009 five other justices will be from 69 to 75 years old. If Barack Obama is elected president, he will probably–with the benefit of resignations by liberal justices eager for him to be the president who chooses their successors–have the opportunity to appoint two or three Supreme Court justices in his first term, with another two or three in a potential second term. That prospect ought to focus the attention of all Americans who want a Supreme Court that practices judicial restraint and respects the proper realm of representative government.

I might add, as a side note, that this issue is of critical importance whether Obama or Clinton wins the Democratic nomination. Neither candidate is inclined to appoint strict constitutionalists to the bench.

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