Administration Change Impact

As America’s 44th President takes office, there are any numbers of experts ready to predict what this Administration change will mean for the country. The potential impact on the legal and judicial landscape is one such area of discussion. Empirical research from Vanderbilt professor of law and political science Tracey George shows how the United States court system, especially the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, could dramatically change soon after Barack Obama takes office. George says there is likelihood that as many as three Supreme Court justices could leave the court while Obama is in office. There are also currently 13 vacancies on the courts of appeals and an additional 41 vacancies on the district courts. While George W. Bush came into office with even more openings to fill, George says the number of openings may quickly rise because the change in party in power may prompt Clinton and Carter appointees to step down soon to ensure a like-minded replacement. For more on this story, check out a January 16 online article at Insurance Journal. From the perspective of insurers, an Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) poll indicates the changing legal landscape is on the radar screen. Sixty-three percent of insurance industry executives believe that tort trends will deteriorate in 2009, while 32 percent believe they will stay the same. Only 5 percent believe they will improve. Check out further I.I.I. info on the liability system.

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