Ginsburg: Having only 8 justices hamstrings Supreme Court

AP News
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Posted: May 26, 2016 4:05 PM
Ginsburg: Having only 8 justices hamstrings Supreme Court

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says having only eight high court justices isn't good, resulting in some 4-4 splits this year that denied litigants an opinion.

Ginsburg says that that means no precedents are set and essentially a Supreme Court review has been denied.

She says one example was a First Amendment challenge to mandatory union fees by California teachers. An appeal's court ruling will remain in place until there are nine justices.

Ginsburg told a gathering of court officials in New York Thursday that another case the court didn't decide concerned a challenge to mandatory contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it violated religious freedom.

The eight justices requested additional briefs then sent the case back to an appeals court.

The vacancy was created when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February.