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How will the death of Justice Antonin Scalia affect cases now pending before the Supreme Court?

Judge Andrew Napolitano broke down the legal implications for us this morning.

Democrats have been arguing that the court will essentially collapse without the immediate appointment of a ninth Justice, he noted.

But “the court doesn’t buy it, and I hope the Republicans stand firm,” said Judge Napolitano.

The power will now shift toward the Chief Justice to avoid the probability of “too many 4-4 decisions,” he predicted.

“Chief Justice Roberts has a couple of tools available – one of which is his personality and his willingness to compromise,” said Judge Napolitano.  

“This is his court, his name is on it, he doesn’t want it to become toothless.”

The judge said that Roberts could use his power to try to forge a 5-3 vote out of a tied vote, "in which case the Supreme Court’s opinion would prevail."

“He can also delay the release of an opinion … until a ninth person is on the court," he explained. 

“So the court is not necessarily anemic, and it’s not necessarily powerless."

Learn more about the issues at stake, above.

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