Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breyer Says Court Can Work with Only 8 Justices

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breyer Says Court Can Work with Only 8 Justices

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Justice Stephen Breyer said Monday that the Supreme Court has not been diminished by having only eight members since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February.

Breyer suggested in response to questions at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress that Scalia would have made a difference in only four or five cases out of more than 70 the court will decide this term.

"We may divide 4-4 in four or five cases, we may not," Breyer said of the term than will end in June.

That could include some of the term's biggest cases involving abortion and immigration. A tie vote would leave the lower court ruling in place and prevent the court from setting a legal precedent that applies to the entire country.

The court has already deadlocked in three cases, including a high- profile dispute over public-sector labor unions. …

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