5. U.S. Scrambles to Fill Open SCOTUS Seat.
With a “West Wing”-esque flare, the country unexpectedly lost one of its nine Supreme Court justices this week, 79-year-old Antonin Scalia. As one of the nation’s most conservative justices in history, his Supreme Court legacy includes stopping the Florida ballot recount during the 2000 election (which put George W. Bush in the White House for his first term), protecting the right to bear arms, upholding anti-sodomy and anti-same-sex marriage laws, and voting against Planned Parenthood and pro-choice legislation. With that track record, it’s unsurprising to see his death send Washington D.C. further into its spiraling black hole of partisan despair. Republicans are arguing that Obama (who’s been busy nominating other kickass judges like this one and this one) shouldn’t be able to nominate another justice because it’s an election year, and if he were to nominate, SCOTUS would go Blue; Democrats are arguing that this rule was just fabricated as a petty way to keep Obama from nominating a liberal judge. Though more concrete predictions have come through these past few days, no one is sure at this point who Obama will pick to succeed Scalia. The lists so far, however, have been surprising: we’re seeing lots of promising politicians of color, including Kamala Harris (swoon), Cory Booker (swoooooon), Jacqueline Nguyen, and Padmanabhan Srikanth Srinivasan. A change in the Court could change a lot of things for a lot of women--and if we (read: Obama) play our cards right, we could have a surge of feminist initiatives coming out of SCOTUS in the near future. Fingers crossed!